Basic Biographical Details

Name: William ('Bill') Nimmo
Designation: Architect
Born: 1 April 1929
Died: 28 January 2010
Bio Notes: William ('Bill') Nimmo was born on 1 April 1929, the son of David Nimmo, master joiner, and his wife, Euphemia Tasker Wilson. He was educated at Wishaw High School. He studied architecture at Glasgow School of Art where he won the Rowand Anderson medal in his final year and at the Royal Technical College. He was elected ARIBA in 1954. He set up his own practice in Wishaw with Thomas Miller as assistant. About this time he married May Morrison Hannah. Two years of National Service followed which was spent with the British Army in Germany, accompanied by his new wife. His time in Germany was spent masterminding the design and construction of new barracks for the soldiers and thousands of houses both for the British Army and German civilians.

After completing his National Service he returned to Wishaw and was soon joined by Jean Welsh as William Nimmo & Partners. Welsh was one of the first women to qualify as an architect in Scotland.

In 1969 the practice moved to Glasgow and two years later the Wishaw office closed. Large-scale commissions followed including schools, factories and two new whisky distilleries for Seagram. In 1973 James Robertson was assumed into partnership followed by John Carswell in 1975 and by a number of other partners in the late 1980s. David Nimmo, son of William Nimmo, was assumed into partnership in 1993.

The practice was involved with a number of very large projects including the redevlopment of the Faslane Submarine Base on the Clyde. Nimmo also undertook various jobs in London.

David Nimmo describes his father: 'My father was interested in architecture, and certainly had strong views, but he was probably more passionate about business, project management (he was a natural leader) and quality of construction. While he won the silver medal at Glasgow School of Art, he regarded others as more able designers, and consequently encouraged them to get on with it while he looked for work and ran the practice.'

He retired in 1997 and was elected a Fellow of the RIAS and of the Royal Society of Arts, the latter in recognition of his work in London. He was also made a freeman of the City of London, and was awarded the CBE.

Nimmo is remembered in his obituary as 'tall, elegant, engaging and forceful'. Outwith his professional life, he had wide interests. He was fascinated by politics. Not long before his death, he had cruised by Martha's Vineyard and visited the Crusader Castles on Malta. He died on 28 January 2010 after a short battle with leukaemia, survived by his wife Mae (an artist) and their sons David (who had followed him into architectural practice), Robert and Wilson and daughter Sandra.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 6Auchenglen House, Auchenglen Road, Braidwood, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivate 2010 
Item 2 of 6Caldersyde, Glen Road, Wishaw, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivatec. 1954  
Item 3 of 6Commercial Bank Buildings, Carluke 8 February 1957 per Builder, p294
Item 4 of 6Commercial Bank Buildings, Wishaw, Lanarkshire, ScotlandBusiness1964 *  
Item 5 of 615, Queen's Crescent , Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1979 *  
Item 6 of 677, Fitzroy Place, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessc. 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 1William Nimmo & Partners19561996Partner 

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 38 Westwood Parish ChurchEast Kilbride  ScotlandReported in 'Building' as 'Nemmo' but this is likely to be William Nimmo.
Item 2 of 381952Carnwadric Church and Hall  GlasgowScotland 
Item 3 of 381956Barlanark Greyfriars Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 4 of 381957Whitelaw Engineering Works  LanarkshireScotland 
Item 5 of 381961Motherwell and Wishaw Civic CentreMotherwell LanarkshireScotlandCompetition design - placed second
Item 6 of 381962North British Locomotive Company OfficesSpringburn GlasgowScotlandConversion of offices to College of Engineering.
Item 7 of 381964Church of Scotland Halls, Ryehill Road  GlasgowScotlandExtension to hall
Item 8 of 381964Garrian HotelMotherwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 9 of 381965Industrial buildings for United GlassBaillieston GlasgowScotland 
Item 10 of 381968Golden Circle HotelBathgate West LothianScotlandOriginal design and extension
Item 11 of 381968Hendersons Department Store  GlasgowScotland 
Item 12 of 381970Block of buildings, 29-31 St Andrew Square for the Norwich Union  EdinburghScotland 
Item 13 of 381971Community CentreArmadale West LothianScotland 
Item 14 of 381972Braeval DistilleryChapeltown of Glenlivet MorayshireScotland 
Item 15 of 381973116-128 High StreetPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 16 of 381973Scottish Television Studio and OfficesCowcaddens GlasgowScotland 
Item 17 of 381975Community CentreWhitburn West LothianScotland 
Item 18 of 381975Distillery at Alt A BhainneGlenrinnes, Dufftown BanffshireScotland 
Item 19 of 38c. 1975Community CentreCarnwadric GlasgowScotland 
Item 20 of 38c. 1975Hotel for Centre Hotels (Cranston) Ltd  LiverpoolEngland 
Item 21 of 38c. 1975Hotel for Centre Hotels (Cranston) Ltd  GlasgowScotland 
Item 22 of 38c. 1975Marshall's chicken processing factoryCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 23 of 38c. 1975Primary schoolKirkliston West LothianScotland 
Item 24 of 38c. 1975Regional Police HeadquartersClydebank DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 25 of 38c. 1975Warehouses for House of Fraser, Argyll and Jamaica Streets  GlasgowScotlandReconstruction
Item 26 of 381976Rament Lodge Court  GlasgowScotland 
Item 27 of 381979Deans Community SchoolLivingston West LothianScotland 
Item 28 of 381980sCraigforth House, office buildings  StirlingshireScotlandFurther office buildings
Item 29 of 381980s(?)Royal Naval BaseFaslane Renfrewshire/DunbartonshireScotland400m refit
Item 30 of 38Before 1981BenRiach Glenlivet DistilleryGlenlivet BanffshireScotlandNew building?
Item 31 of 38Before 1981Marshall's chicken processing factoryNewbridge West LothianScotland 
Item 32 of 38Before 1981Recreational centre and canteen for BP ChemicalsGrangemouth StirlingshireScotland 
Item 33 of 38Before 1981Recreational centre and canteen for BP Chemicals  HullEngland 
Item 34 of 38Before 1981Tesco superstoreKilmarnock AyrshireScotland 
Item 35 of 38Before 1981Tesco superstorePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 36 of 381983Clydebank Business Park, Radio Clyde BuildingClydebank DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 37 of 381985St John's Shopping CentrePerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 38 of 381986Car park Perth PerthshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 6Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Pressp146
Item 2 of 6RIBA1954RIBA Kalendar 1953-54   
Item 3 of 6RIBA1964The RIBA Kalendar 1963-64   
Item 4 of 6RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   
Item 5 of 6RIBA1979Directory of members   
Item 6 of 6RIBA1987RIBA Directory of Members 1987   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Builder8 February 1957  p294
Item 2 of 2RIAS Quarterly2010SpringRoyal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)p.112: obituary