Basic Biographical Details

Name: Gardner & Thomson
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1936
Bio Notes: Albert Victor Gardner took Gavin Thomson into partnership in 1936 and all work thereafter was credited to Gardner & Thomson.

Albert Victor Gardner was born in Gloucestershire in early 1884, the son of Newton Gardner, clerk and Susannah Britter (?). He studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1901 to 1905 but it is not yet known to which practice he was articled. He commenced practice at 7 Bath Street Glasgow in 1908 and from 1914 until about 1915 he was in partnership with John A W Grant as Grant & Gardner.

Gardner married Helen Dawson Greenlees, daughter of the painter James Greenlees, at Burlington House, Glasgow on 9 June 1915. After the First World War, in 1919, he entered into partnership with William Riddell Glen. Glen had been born in Hutchesontown in 1885 (Dist. no. 644/11, entry 2703; although in his RIBA nomination papers he claims his year of birth to be 1884), the son of James Glen, provision merchant and his wife Margaret Riddell. He had won a studentship at Glasgow School of Architecture where he had studied from 1900 whilst undertaking an apprenticeship with Burnet, Boston & Carruthers. He had transferred to the practice of John Archibald Campbell in 1904 whilst continuing his studies for a further year, and had commenced independent practice in 1912 at 144 St Vincent Street, Glasgow; but his career had soon been interrupted by the First World War, during which he served in the Glasgow Highlanders, rising to the rank of major and being awarded an MC.

The practice of Gardner & Glen had offices at 164 Bath Street, Glasgow and specialised in the design of 'atmospheric' cinemas. The practice had traded up from Gardner's early years on innovative low-budget cinemas and it is in this context that we should read the frequently quoted comments of one of their clients, George Singleton, who regarded Glen as a far superior architect to Gardner, describing the latter as 'the most awful faker in the world. He used every substitute for the decent thing'.

The partnership was dissolved in 1929 when Glen left for London having obtained an appointment as Architect to Associated British Cinemas Ltd; Gardner thereafter practised very successfully on his own for several years prior to forming a third partnership with Gavin Thomson, of whom nothing is yet known, in 1936.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1164, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1936  

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architectural practice (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 2Albert Victor Gardner1936   
Item 2 of 2Gavin Thomson1936   

Buildings and Designs

This architectural practice was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 51936Motor Showrooms, garage and officesShawlands GlasgowScotland 
Item 2 of 51936Queen's Cinema  GlasgowScotlandNew cinema?
Item 3 of 51938Alhambra Picture HouseBellshill LanarkshireScotlandAlterations
Item 4 of 51938Grand Central Picture House  GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 5 of 51938The Knowe, Queen's Drive  GlasgowScotlandDivision of house itno two flats, upper and lower


Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Chris DoakInformation via website Information sent August 2007