Basic Biographical Details

Name: Thomas Smith, Gibb & Pate
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1970s
Ended: 1983
Bio Notes: The practice of Thomas Smith, Gibb & Pate was founded by Thomas Smith senior in 1887 with an office in Coatbridge. His son Thomas Nimmo Smith, born 1906, joined the practice as an apprentice c. 1922, becoming first assistant and then partner.

The practice remained open during World War II mainly for the collection of rents and repairs to the Smiths tenanted properties in Dunbeth Avenue and other maintenance work. Thomas Smith senior died in 1941 and his son did not return to the practice until late 1945, having served as a commissioned officer with the Royal Artillery and the Royal Engineers. Because of building licensing business was at a modest level for the next ten years with Robert Aitchison as senior assistant. When normal practice again became possible Smith recruited Robert Hugh Gibb to open an office in Greenock where there were already good connections through the Trades Hotel and other projects. This proved successful, the Marquess of Bute becoming an important client, and Gibb was joined by James Guy Lindsay Pate whose clients were mainly in Cowal where he had his office. Initially they were associates, but they were subsequently taken into partnership, the practice title becoming Thomas Smith, Gibb & Pate. From 1964 to 1972 the practice was consulting architects for Dunoon Burgh including Ardenslate Developments.

As he had no prospect of a partnership Robert Aitchison left the Coatbridge office about 1960 to set up his own practice. The Coatbridge office was now staffed by Charles William Vallance Thom, the son of a provost of Coatbridge, and a little later by Thomas Smith junior who returned to the office after a period gaining experience with Whitehorn & Brown in Edinburgh. Coatbridge Town Council was an important client with major high-rise housing projects, but a growing industrial practice, particularly in distilleries, resulted in the opening of a Glasgow office. Initially Charles Thom was in charge, dividing his time between Coatbridge and Glasgow, but in 1967 William McDonald was recruited for it and quickly became the driving force behind it; its business was mainly industrial and included a large printing machinery factory for Victor Kidder in Birkenhead. Initially McDonald was an associate, becoming a partner in 1975.

In 1979 Thomas Smith junior established an Edinburgh office in York Place as a more convenient base for the Territorial Army and housing association work for Kirkcare and Bield which was by then the main business of the Coatbridge office. By that date his father was semi-retired and business in the Greenock office was beginning to decline, partly as a result of changes in client firms, and partly because of Gibb’s failing health, Thomas Smith junior spending much of his time in the Greenock office to help out and regain clients in the mid to late 1970s. The final retirement of Thomas Nimmo Smith and the continuing decline of Gibb’s health brought about the dissolution of the partnership in 1983. Gibb retained the Greenock office which soon closed; Pate the Dunoon office and McDonald the Glasgow office, all three running these practices in their name only. Thomas Smith junior retained the Edinburgh office which has survived all the others as Smith Scott Mullan Associates currently (2012) based at 378 Leith Walk.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 73, Church Street, Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, ScotlandBusiness1964 *  
Item 2 of 7Woodbine Cottage, Archallow, Argyll, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1964After 1970 
Item 3 of 731, Church Street, Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, ScotlandBusiness1970 *After 1980 
Item 4 of 765, York Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1975After 1981Branch office
Item 5 of 720, Royal Crescent, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1975 *After 1981 
Item 6 of 732, Ardgowan Square, Greenock, Renfrewshire, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1975 *After 1981 
Item 7 of 7160, Argyll Street, Dunoon, Argyll, ScotlandBusiness1980 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architectural practice (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 11Thomas Smith (junior)1960s * Partner 
Item 2 of 11Barry Edward Williams1960s ArchitectProject architect
Item 3 of 11Robert Hugh Gibb1960s *After 1980Partner 
Item 4 of 11Charles Wilson Vallance Thom1960s *After 1980Partner(?) 
Item 5 of 11Thomas Nimmo Smith1960sAfter 1980Partner 
Item 6 of 11James Guy Lindsay PateBefore 1965 *After 1980Partner 
Item 7 of 11William McDonald1967 * Associate 
Item 8 of 11Robert Aitchison1970 * Architect 
Item 9 of 11William McDonald1975 Partner 
Item 10 of 11William McDonald1975c. 1983Partner 
Item 11 of 11George Robinson Kennedy1980 * AssociateOr was he a partner?

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Buildings and Designs

This architectural practice 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 34 Scottish National Zoological Park AquariumCorstorphine EdinburghScotlandEntrance building, reconstructed from A N paterson's Aquarium Building where the humidity had affected the steelwork and reinforcement making it unsafe.
Item 2 of 34 Woodside Street redevelopmentCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 3 of 341966Whifflet comprehensive redevelopmentCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 4 of 341968Gibson Lindsay Old People's HomeCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 5 of 341968HousingDunoon ArgyllScotland 
Item 6 of 341968St Patrick's RC SchoolGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 7 of 341968Swimming PoolDunoon ArgyllScotland 
Item 8 of 341970sDunoon Primary SchoolDunoon ArgyllScotland 
Item 9 of 341970sHousing developments, BroadfieldPort Glasgow RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 10 of 341970sYMCA and YWCA premisesCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 11 of 341970Larkfield Industrial EstateGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 12 of 341971Blairgrove redevelopmentCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 13 of 341974Central Redevelopment of the townGourock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 14 of 341974Sheltered housing for Help The AgedGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 15 of 341974Sheltered housing for Help the AgedKirkintilloch DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 16 of 341974Stewart Hall ButeArgyll & Bute Initial project for the restoration and refurbishment of derelict Palladian House as private residence. Formerly part of the Bute Estate.
Item 17 of 34Before 1975Factory for Victory Kidder LtdBirkenhead CheshireEngland 
Item 18 of 34Before 1975Sheltered housingCambuslang GlasgowScotland 
Item 19 of 34Before 1975Swimming poolJohnstone RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 20 of 341976Sandbank Primary SchoolSandbank ArgyllScotland 
Item 21 of 34197812-16 High StreetFalkirk StirlingshireScotland 
Item 22 of 341978Ramsay HallPort EllenIslayArgyllScotlandRefurbishment and extension
Item 23 of 34Early 1970sClydesdale BankDunoon ArgyllScotlandReconstruction
Item 24 of 34Early 1970sResidential School for Inverliever Lodge TrustLochgilphead ArgyllScotland 
Item 25 of 341980s(?)TAVR (Territorial Army) CentreGlenrothes FifeScotland 
Item 26 of 34Before 1981Industrial complex for Hiram Walker  DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 27 of 34Before 1981Sheltered housing for Bield Housing AssociationDunoon ArgyllScotland 
Item 28 of 34Before 1981Sheltered housing for Kirkcare Housing AssociationWilliamwood RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 29 of 34Before 1981Sheltered Housing for Kirkcare Housing AssociationGovan GlasgowScotland 
Item 30 of 34Before 1981Sheltered housing for the Bield Housing AssociationKirkintilloch DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 31 of 34Before 1981Sheltered housing for the Bield Housing AssociationAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 32 of 34Before 1981TAVR (Territorial Army) CentrePerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 33 of 34Before 1981TAVR (Territorial Army) CentreKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 34 of 34Before 1981Town Centre DevelopmentJohnstone RenfrewshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 4Municipal Annual1964Scottish Municipal Annual1964-1965  
Item 2 of 4RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   
Item 3 of 4RIBA1975RIBA Directory of practices   
Item 4 of 4RIBA1981Directory of Practices 1981