Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Robertson Notman
Designation: Architect
Born: 8 September 1927
Died: 9 July 2009
Bio Notes: John (’Jack’) Robertson Notman was born in Glasgow on 8 September 1927, the only son of John Notman and his wife Amelie Margaret Robertson who were both schoolteachers. His interest in the theatre began at Hillhead High School. The comic actor Stanley Baxter was a fellow pupil and the two produced plays together. They remained great friends and collaborators.

Notman studied at Glasgow School of Architecture and was awarded the James Brough Prize and the Owen Jones studentship in 1954. Throughout his student career Notman acted, directed and produced and even during his National Service he won an army drama festival. He was admitted ARIBA in 1953. After graduation he joined the staff of Glasgow School of Architecture and set up his own practice.

Notman undertook a wide range of work. He remodelled some of Glasgow’s best known buildings, designed some outstanding new buildings and undertook theatre and set design for opera and ballet as well as for television and film and was art director on the 1978 remake of John Buchan’s ‘The Thirty-Nine Steps’ starring Robert Powell. He also acted as consultant on a range of projects. He had an ability to move from restoration of historic interiors which required restraint and deference to flamboyant colourful theatre sets. It was in the design of the latter that he best displayed his eye for colour and his versatility. He designed sets for Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the London Festival Ballet. Notman was well-known for his attention to detail which allowed him to create clean precise contemporary interiors. His perfectionism sometimes infuriated clients on a strict deadline and tight budget. However when working on restorations and adaptations he excelled at working within the paradigm of the original architect’s concept.

As a person Notman had an eccentric charm and a fund of stories from the world of thespians. He roamed ‘from theatre boards to production studios in his pristine white Porsche 944’. Among his many friends in the acting world were Judi Dench whom he met when designing a set and costumes for an open air production of Romeo & Juliet that she was directing in Regent’s Park. He would delight Dame Judi and her husband Michael Williams with watercolours of their house and garden. He was also a good friend of Joyce Grenfell.
He formed a partnership with Geoffrey D Lodge in 1965 as Notman & Lodge. This was dissolved in 1972. Notman practised as J R Notman in partnership with George Scott Calder, the practice title being J R Notman Architect. By 1987 he practised as Jack Notman. He was still at 34 Belmont Street.

Notman undertook a large amount of work for the Clydesdale Bank and besides the work listed below he also built or rebuilt 9 Scottish branches.

Notman’s love of the arts led to a number of positions including trustee of the National Galleries of Scotland, member of the Design Council, chairman of the Pollok House Arts Society, chairman of the Scottish Society of Architect Artists and a committee member of the Royal Society of Arts.

Notman received Glasgow Institute of Architects Awards of 1980, 1981 and 1984 and Civic Trust Awards of 1981 and 1990 for his work on the Henry Wood Hall, the Clydesdale Bank Headquarters and Hutchesons’ Hall. He was awarded the Royal Society of Arts Presidential Medal for Design Management, being associated with the Clydesdale BAnk from 1967.

He died on at the Western Infirmary, Glasgow, on 9 July 2009, aged 81.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 31, Hughenden Terrace, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness 2009 
Item 2 of 334, Belmont Street, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate/business19501980s 
Item 3 of 318, Royal Terrace, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1994 *  

* 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 2Notman & Lodge1965 Partner 
Item 2 of 2J R Notman Architect19751979Partner 


RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1William Geoffrey Jarvis4 February 1970For Fellowship

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 59 Loudoun CastleGalston AyrshireScotlandProposals for creating Clan Campbell Centre and redevelopment of estate
Item 2 of 59 University of Strathclyde  GlasgowScotlandReception area of several building refurbished
Item 3 of 591960sClydesdale BankEast Kilbride LanarkshireScotland 
Item 4 of 591960sClydesdale Bank, Gibson Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 5 of 591960sClydesdale Bank, Great Western Road branch  GlasgowScotland 
Item 6 of 591960sClydesdale Bank, India Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 7 of 591960sClydesdale Bank, Lombard Street branch  LondonEnglandInteriors
Item 8 of 591960sClydesdale Bank, St James's branch  LondonEnglandInteriors
Item 9 of 591960Helenton Mote HouseSymington AyrshireSpain 
Item 10 of 591966Block of flats for the Strathclyde Housing Society Ltd  GlasgowScotland 
Item 11 of 591967Cosmo cinema  GlasgowScotlandInterior remodelled.
Item 12 of 59Late 1960sClydesdale BankHawick RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 13 of 59Late 1960sClydesdale Bank, Prestwick AirportPrestwick AyrshireScotland 
Item 14 of 59Late 1960sFlatted block  GlasgowScotland 
Item 15 of 59Late 1960sHousing Society flatsHyndland GlasgowScotland 
Item 16 of 59Late 1960sOlympic Health Studios  GlasgowScotland 
Item 17 of 59Late 1960sPremises for Lombard Banking  LondonEngland 
Item 18 of 59Late 1960sPrestwick International Airport  AyrshireScotlandInteriors
Item 19 of 59Late 1960sThe InnHowwood RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 20 of 59Late 1960sYMCA Hotel, Boys' Hostel  GlasgowScotland 
Item 21 of 591970sFisher's HotelPitlochry PerthshireScotlandThe Otter Bar
Item 22 of 591972Linburn, stable blockShandon Dunbartonshire/ArgyllScotlandConversion of stable block into house. It is possible that this is by a different Notman - check
Item 23 of 59After 1975Ballikinrain CastleBalfron StirlingshireScotlandRestoration of kitchen after fire.
Item 24 of 59After 1975Booking offices for Pakistani International Airlines  LondonEngland 
Item 25 of 59After 1975Clydesdale Bank, Lower Regent Street  LondonEngland 
Item 26 of 59After 1975Private housesWhitecraigs GlasgowScotland 
Item 27 of 59After 1975RedlairdstonBuchlyvie (near) StirlingshireScotlandInterior refurbishment
Item 28 of 59Before 1975House for D Walton Esq  GlasgowScotland 
Item 29 of 59Before 1975House for F Fox Esq  SuffolkEngland 
Item 30 of 59Before 1975House for Hon David Bathurst  LondonEngland 
Item 31 of 59Before 1975House for I Walton Esq  GlasgowScotland 
Item 32 of 59Before 1975House for J KennethKirkcudbrightshire KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 33 of 59Before 1975House for R Kirkdorfer  LondonEngland 
Item 34 of 59Before 1975House for Viscount RochdaleKeswick CumberlandEngland 
Item 35 of 59Before 1975Lanterna Restaurant  GlasgowScotlandRenovation
Item 36 of 59Before 1975Mount StuartRothesay (near)ButeButeScotlandRestoration of North Wing
Item 37 of 59Before 1975Offices for Singleton Cinemas  GlasgowScotland 
Item 38 of 59Before 1975Offices for the Scottish Metropolitan Property Company  GlasgowScotland 
Item 39 of 59Before 1975Offices for West of Scotland Weatherproofs  GlasgowScotland 
Item 40 of 59Before 1975Ten shops for M & H Latter   ScotlandEight shops before 1975 and two after that date and two after that date
Item 41 of 59c. 1975Paddle Boat BarRothesayButeArgyll & ButeScotland 
Item 42 of 59c. 1975The Iron Horse Bar  GlasgowScotland 
Item 43 of 591978Clydesdale Bank Headquarters, St Vincent Place  GlasgowScotlandRefurbishment including reconstruction of a desk from parts of original woodwork during modernisation, banking hall and Vice Chairman's suite.
Item 44 of 591978Trinity Congregational Church  GlasgowScotlandConversion into rehearsal premises for Royal National Orchestra Society, Henry Wood Hall.
Item 45 of 591970s or 1980sArchies Bar  GlasgowScotlandReconstruction
Item 46 of 591970s or 1980s(?)Hutchesons' Hospital  GlasgowScotlandRestoration for National Trust for Scotland
Item 47 of 591970s or 1980sMansion House of EriskaLedaig ArgyllScotlandReconstruction
Item 48 of 591970s or 1980sRoyal Faculty of Procurators  GlasgowScotlandRestoration of library
Item 49 of 591970s or 1980sWestern Club  GlasgowScotlandPublic areas reconstructed
Item 50 of 591980sGleneagles HotelGleneagles PerthshireScotlandMaster suites refurbished
Item 51 of 591980s(?)Heathrow Airport, VIP lounge for Pakistan International Airways  LondonEngland 
Item 52 of 591980sSet and costume design for Romeo & Juliet  LondonEngland 
Item 53 of 591980sSet Design for Gilbert & Sullivan's The Gondoliers  GlasgowScotland 
Item 54 of 591980sSet design for Mozart's Don Giovanni  GlasgowScotland 
Item 55 of 591980s(?)Set design for production of Peter Darrell's ballet 'Light Fantastic'  GlasgowScotland 
Item 56 of 59Before 1980Vogue CinemaGovan GlasgowScotlandReconstruction?
Item 57 of 591986Set design for Richard Strauss's Capriccio  Glasgow  
Item 58 of 591987Theatre Royal  GlasgowScotlandDecoration of theatre for Masked Ball (to raise funds)
Item 59 of 591990Theatre Royal  GlasgowScotlandDecoration of theatre for fund-raising ball


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 6Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Pressp145
Item 2 of 6RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   
Item 3 of 6RIBA1979Directory of members   
Item 4 of 6RIBA1981Directory of Practices 1981   
Item 5 of 6RIBA1987RIBA Directory of Members 1987   
Item 6 of 6RIBA1994A Directory of RIBA Members   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Herald, The25 July 2009  Obituary
Item 2 of 3Scotsman29 July 2009  Obituary
Item 3 of 3The Times15 October 2009  p70. Obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1H M Register HouseDeath Register