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Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||John ('Jack') Charles Holmes |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||9 July 1918 |
|Died: ||4 April 1999 |
|Bio Notes: ||John Charles Holmes, known as 'Jack', was born on 9 July 1918, the son of Charles Hambleton Barrow, captain in the King's Own Scottish Borderers and his wife Marjorie Stuart. He was educated at Ardrossan Academy and Queen’s Park School in Glasgow. He studied architecture at Glasgow School of Art under Professor Thomas Harold Hughes. He was apprenticed to Noad & Wallace. His training was interrupted by war service during which he served in the army and was awarded the Military Cross. He was admitted ARIBA in 1948. |
He started his career working for the thread manufacturers J & P Coats. He established a practice on his own account in 1951 with an office at 93 Hope Street in Glasgow. In these early days his main source of income was from commissions for private houses in Skelmorlie, Milngavie, Kilmacolm and Strathblane. He subsequently entered a number of competitions and was runner-up in that for Paisley Civic Centre. He was also particularly pleased with showrooms he had designed in Alexandria and Clydebank. He was elected ARIAS in 1953. In 1955 Holmes' wife M Kirsteen Borland was taken into partnership and the practice name became Jack Holmes & Partners.
The practice moved to Kelvingrove Street in 1963. In 1964 Alfred A Wood was taken into partnership but he left after a year. Around this time the practice began a series of schools in Cumbernauld and Glasgow. However his best known work is the 22-storey block at Anniesland Cross which links to a lower block facing Crow Road. They remain among the finest tower blocks erected in Glasgow at a time when the city commissioned a whole series of mega-structures. The Clydeway Industrial Centre followed in the late 1960s which were described as an honest and impressive ensemble. Sadly these buildings have since been re-clad in aluminium and glass. In 1965 he challenged Glasgow Corporation over their proposal for a cultural centre, being the only architect of standing in the city to do so.
In 1973 Charles Strong, Harold Phillips and Robin Haddow joined as partners and in 1980 Robin Th'ng and Neil Maxwell joined. In 1981 the name became Holmes & Partners Architects and in 1985 Holmes Partnership.
The final major work which came from the office after Holmes’ retirement in the early 1980s was the office block at 100 Bothwell Street which is a bold composition of granite and glass with a tower at the entrance.
Concurrently with his architectural practice Holmes ran the Jack Holmes Planning Group with his wife which had been established in 1965. They both acknowledged a debt to Sir Patrick Abercrombie and Sir Robert Grieve with whom Kirsteen Borland had worked on the Clyde Valley Regional Plan. Amongst other projects, they were involved with planning work in the Highlands where Sir Robert Grieve had become Chairman of the Highlands and Islands Development Board.
Homes took an active part in professional matters and served as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects in 1973. He was a long-standing member of the Council of the RIAS and vice president and sat on the Council of the RIBA.
Holmes suffered a stroke in 1983 and after further ill-health was forced to retire. However he continued to take an active part in various architectural and cultural organisations and campaigned to preserve a number of important buildings. He also pursued interests in music, sketching, travelling and the history of his 17th century house. He had a reputation as a man of strong principles and would resign from a job if he felt things were not right and this earned him the nickname ‘wild Jack’. He died on 4 April 1999, survived by his wife and their daughter Jocelyn, also an architect, and their son, Peter.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|143, Wilson Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Private/business(?)||Before 1948||After 1950|| |
|93, Hope Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1951|| || |
|Drumhead, Cardross, Dunbartonshire, Scotland||Private||1953||1999|| |
|62, Kelvingrove Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business(?)||Before 1960||After 1970|| |
Employment and Training
|This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):|
| ||Name||Date proposed||Notes|
|William Geoffrey Jarvis||4 February 1970||For Fellwoship|
|John Armstrong Lane||5 June 1968||For Fellowship|
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architect:|
|Bailey, Rebecca M||1996||Scottish architects' papers: a source book|| ||Edinburgh: The Rutland Press||p143|
|Glendinning, Miles||1997||Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75 || ||Tuckwell Press Ltd||p173 Anderston Cross CDA, Industrial Zone|
|RIBA||1948||The RIBA Kalendar 1948-1949|| ||London: Royal Institute of British Architects|| |
|RIBA||1950||The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951|| ||London: Royal Institute of British Architects|| |
|RIBA||1961||Kalendar 1960-61|| || || |
|RIBA||1970||RIBA Directory 1970|| || || |
|The following periodicals contain references to this architect:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|RIAS Newsletter||1999||v10, no6|| ||Death note|
|RIAS Newsletter||June 1999||v10, no5|| ||Obituary|
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|RIAS, Rutland Square||Records of membership|| || |
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