Basic Biographical Details

Name: William Fowler Howitt
Designation: Architect
Born: 22 May 1924
Died: February 2005
Bio Notes: William Fowler Howitt was born in Perth on 22 May 1924, the son of Frederick Howitt, postal clark, and his wife Isabel Strachan Fowler. He was educated at Perth Academy and studied at Dundee School of Architecture from September 1941 to 1948, his studies interrupted by war service from November 1943 to November 1946. In 1943 he was awarded the Lorimer Prize at the Colege of Art. He sat the final exams in June 1948 and was awarded an RIBA Victory Scholarship that year which enabled him to make a study tour of Italy. He was admitted ARIBA in 1949, proposed by John Needham, G Guy Wornum and Lawrence Scotland. His nomination paper describes him as a ‘brilliant student’.

He moved to work for Devon County Council Architects Department in 1948 and then from 1949 took a post in the office of Louis de Soissons & Partners, initially as assistant but later as senior assistant. There he worked on housing, flats, hotel, church and imperial war graves commissions. He gave an address in his home town Perth in 1950. In 1952 he transferred as chief assistant to the office of Vincent Kelly & Partners in Dublin where his work included housing, offices and hospitals. In July and August 1953 he made a study tour of Irish hospitals. In 1955 he secured the post of Architect to St Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth, London and made a study tour of European hospitals the following year. At St Thomas’s he was in overall charge of the building and any required building works, the post being the equivalent to that of a Regional Board architect. During this period he must have gained a reputation as an expert in hospital design. he was a guest lecturer at the University of Naples in February 1961 and in June of that year he was secretary of a discussion group at the Integrated Healthcare Association Conference in Venice. In July 1961 he was a contributor to a National Symposium on hospitals in Dundee and from 1958 to 1963 he was a contributor, adviser and lecturer to the King's Fund CCI at the Royal College of Nursing, at the Budding Centre. He was also a member of various professional bodies and published on hospital-related topics.

In 1964 he moved to the practice Easton, Robertson, Cusdin, Preston & Smith and from 1965 became a partner in the practice Cusdin, Burden & Howitt. He was responsible for the hospital work in the practice and at the time of his nomination for fellowship of the RIBA, proposed by William Holford, Sidney Edward Thomas Cusdin and John Needham he was working on the following projects: Addenbrookes, stage 2 (£9.5m), Belfast (£1.5m), Great Ormond Street (£350,000), the Royal Maternity hospital, Belfact, and the Royal Victoria Hospital as well as developing a standard operating theatre design for the Ministry of Health.

He was still in this partnership in 1987.

He died in Torbay, Devon in February 2005.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 6Barmekin, Cornhill Terrace, Perth, Perthshire, ScotlandPrivate(?)Before 1948 *After 1950 
Item 2 of 6173, Rathgar Road, Dublin, EirePrivate1953 *  
Item 3 of 645, Lambeth Palace Road, London, EnglandBusiness1960 *  
Item 4 of 61/4, Yarmouth Place, Piccadilly, London, EnglandBusiness1965 *After 1970 
Item 5 of 6Greencoat House/5th floor, Francis Street, London, EnglandBusiness1979 *  
Item 6 of 632, Gloucester Road, Teddington, Middlessex, EnglandPrivate(?)1994 *  

* 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 6Devon County Architect's DepartmentAugust 1948December 1948Assistant 
Item 2 of 6Louis de Soissons & PartnersDecember 19481952Assistant 
Item 3 of 6Vincent Kelly19521955AssistantLater senior assistant
Item 4 of 6St Thomas's Hospital Staff Architect's Department19551963Chief Architect 
Item 5 of 6Easton Robertson Cusdin Preston & Smith19641965Senior Assistant 
Item 6 of 6Cusdin, Burden & Howitt1965 Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Sidney Edward Thomas Cusdin17 July 1968For Fellowship
Item 2 of 6(Professor Sir) William Graham Holford 17 July 1968For Fellowship
Item 3 of 6John Needham5 April 1949For Associateship
Item 4 of 6John Needham17 July 1968For Fellowship
Item 5 of 6Lawrence Scotland5 April 1949For Associateship
Item 6 of 6George Grey Wornum5 April 1949For Associateship


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 8RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 2 of 8RIBA1954RIBA Kalendar 1953-54   
Item 3 of 8RIBA1961Kalendar 1960-61   
Item 4 of 8RIBA1965The RIBA Kalendar   
Item 5 of 8RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   
Item 6 of 8RIBA1979Directory of members   
Item 7 of 8RIBA1987RIBA Directory of Members 1987   
Item 8 of 8RIBA1994A Directory of RIBA Members   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Perthshire Advertiser15 May 1943  p7

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3England and WalesBirths, marriages and deaths  
Item 2 of 3National Archives (via Scotlands People)Statutory births  
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no10495, F no6208 (Combined Box 125)