Basic Biographical Details

Name: Alfred Arden Wood
Designation: Architect
Born: 2 September 1926
Died: December 1995
Bio Notes: Alfred Arden Wood was born on 8 September 1926 in Harrogate and was educated at Ashville College and Harrogate Grammar School. From 8 September 1943 he studied for the diploma in architecture and the diploma in town planning at Leeds. His studies were interrupted by war service in 1944. He served as an officer in the Tank Corps until 1948 and must have had a distinguished military career as he was awarded a TD. After demobilisation he read history at Hertford College, Oxford. He then studied architecture at Leeds School of Architecture and Planning and graduated with the diploma in architecture on July 1952. During his student years he spent six months in Sweden and Denmark and in 1952 directly after graduation, he spent a further three months in Stockholm’s city department. He was elected ARIBA in 1953, his proposers being W A Eden, J A Fowler and another (indecipherable).

In 1953 he returned to Britain and took a position as assistant architect with Harlaw Development Corporation, followed in 1955 by a post as architect with West Riding County Council. In 1957 he moved to a post as principal architect with Leeds City Council. While in Leeds he took a course in town planning and obtained a diploma with distinction in 1960. In 1960 he returned to Sweden and Denmark for three weeks and in 1964 he spent a similar period in the United States. He also made a lecture and study tour in the United States in 1967.

In 1961 he became Chief Architect (Housing) with Glasgow Corporation. In this post he was responsible for the design and construction of 4,000 homes, high and low-rise high density developments. He was elected ARIAS in 1962.

He was assumed into partnership by Jack Holmes in 1963 where he gained a wide experience in building. In 1965 he took the post of city planning officer in Norwich where he pioneered the pedestrianized centre to free shopping streets of noisy fume-laden traffic jams. He received a Civic Trust Award for his achievements in Norwich. In 1968 he was elected FRIBA, his proposers being F Chippendale, Jack Coia and Bernard Feilden.

Wood left Norwich in 1972 and moved to Hereford and Worcester for two years followed by the appointment as chief planner for the West Midlands Metropolitan County Council, based in Birmingham until 1984.

Wood served on the Historic Buildings Council and in 1985 headed the Historic Areas at English Heritage. He was also visiting professor at Harvard and at Belgium’s Leuven University and acted as adviser to the Council of Europe in Strasburg. In 1987 he was living in Worcestershire. He retired from ill-health in 1987 and the following year he was appointed CBE.

He died in Malvern in late 1995, predeceased by his wife but survived by his son.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 5Flat 4/Southfield/107, Station Road, Harrogate, EnglandPrivate1953 *  
Item 2 of 5Elmslea/431, Crow Road, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1962  
Item 3 of 5City Hall, Norwich, Norfolk, EnglandBusinessc. 1970  
Item 4 of 51, Lancaster Circus, Queensway, Birmingham, EnglandBusinessc. 1979  
Item 5 of 5Hewell Lodge, Tardebrigge, Worcestershire, EnglandPrivatec. 1987  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 6Harlaw Development Corporation19521955Assistant Architect 
Item 2 of 6West Riding County Architect's Department19551957Architect 
Item 3 of 6Leeds City Council Architects Department19571961Principal Architect 
Item 4 of 6Jack Holmes & Partners19631965Partner 
Item 5 of 6Glasgow City Architects Departmentc. 1963 Architect 
Item 6 of 6Norwich City Planning Department1965After 1968Chief Planning Officer 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 5Frank Chippindale3 April 1968For Fellowship
Item 2 of 5Jack Antonio Coia3 April 1968For Fellowship
Item 3 of 5W ___A____ Eden3 March 1953For Associateship
Item 4 of 5Bernard Melchior Feilden (Sir)3 April 1968For Fellowship
Item 5 of 5J___A___Fowler3 March 1953For Associateship

Buildings and Designs

This architect 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 4 Deck-access blocks of flats, Balgrayhill, Springburn CDA Area BSpringburn GlasgowScotlandAs Chief Housing Architect
Item 2 of 4 Springburn CDA Area B HousingSpringburn Glasgow As Chief Housing Architect
Item 3 of 41960sWallacetown and Newton Redevelopment, AyrWallacetown, Ayr AyrshireScotlandConsultants for projected 10 year redevelopment
Item 4 of 41964Ayr central area development planAyr AyrshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 5Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Pressp143
Item 2 of 5Glendinning, Miles and Muthesius, Stefan1994Tower Block: Modern Public Housing in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland Yale University Press: New Haven and Londonp226, p320, p368, p405: Springburn Area B
Item 3 of 5RIBA1964The RIBA Kalendar 1963-64   
Item 4 of 5RIBA1979Directory of members   
Item 5 of 5RIBA1987RIBA Directory of Members 1987   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1The Times26 December 1995  p17

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3Interview with Yvonne Hillyard, RIAS February 2014.Information from M Kirsteen Borland  
Item 2 of 3RIAS, Rutland SquareRecords of membership  
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no14677; F no 5951 (Combined Box 110)