Basic Biographical Details

Name: Thomas Scott Sutherland & Partners
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: Before 1953
Ended: 1963
Bio Notes: Thomas (Tom) Scott Sutherland was born in Torry, Aberdeen, the son of Robert William Sutherland, fisherman in a steam trawler and Annie Hutchinson Scott, on 13 January 1899. He was educated at the School of Architecture, Robert Gordon's College under Thomas Harold Hughes from 1916, and entered the office of John Alexander Ogg Allan in 1918. He received his diploma and a scholarship in 1921, and was awarded his post-diploma in June 1923, commencing practice as a principal at 13 Bridge Street, Aberdeen, in partnership with civil engineer I D McAndrew in that month. He passed the qualifying exam in London in October the same year and was admitted ARIBA on 3 March 1924, his proposers being John Alexander Ogg Allan, Robert Gordon Wilson Junior and John Wilson Walker. His partnership with McAndrew was dissolved that year, Sutherland continuing on his own account at the same address.

From at least 1927 to 1933 Sutherland was operating in partnership with a former fellow apprentice in Allan's office, William Logan Taylor, at 9 The Square, Huntly, as T Scott Sutherland & Taylor. He appears to have concurrently continued his own separate practice in Aberdeen, however, as he was registered with both home and office at 10 Albyn Place in 1930 when he was admitted FRIBA, his proposers being Allan, James Brown Nicol and Robert Gordon Wilson Junior. At that time he was also a member of the Council of the Aberdeen Society of Architects. His RIBA nomination papers state that prior to that date he had been responsible for 22 schools for the County Education Authority (District 5), to which he had been appointed architect in 1927, as well as some 250 private houses. The year before his admittance as FRIBA, Sutherland had married Edith Iris Webber, daughter of William G Webber.

Early in life Sutherland lost a leg but overcame the disability to become a good tennis player, swimmer, cricketer and fisherman and preferred a motorcycle to a car; he was also an expert bridge player and a leading member of the Aberdeen Magical Society.

Sutherland specialised in cinema and house design and was as much a businessman as an architect. He was a director of some forty companies in and around Aberdeen, notably Caledonian Associated Cinemas of which he was one of the founders; James Allan & Company of which he was chairman; and Modern Homes Ltd., the housing developments of which were sold from his office (he boasted that he once sold three within twenty minutes). His office was also for a time the Aberdeen branch of Scottish Amicable until he built their office c.1933. And his practice was unique in that the staff were expected to carry out other work when new commissions were few and they were somewhat underemployed. In the 1920s and early 1930s Sutherland lived at Beechgrove House, but he sold it to the BBC. He then bought Garthdee House with the long-term intention of giving it to the School of Architecture at Gray's.

Sutherland was elected progressive councillor for Ruthrieston in 1934 and was appointed housing convener. He was responsible for the competition for Kincorth Housing Scheme in 1936, won by R Gardner Medwin, and encouraged the Viennese design of the Council housing at Rosemount Square begun in 1938. By the end of his first year as Housing Convenor he had increased the number of council houses being built from 250 to 800 per year. By 1946 a quarter of Aberdeen's population had been re-housed with 7,000 slum houses demolished and 8,500 new houses built.

In 1941 he was divorced from his wife Iris, having separated earlier. In 1948 on a slow boat to China he met Georgina Buchanan, the young secretary to the Governor of Hong Kong: they married in 1950. About this time Sutherland carried out his intention of giving Garthdee to the School of Architecture with a substantial endowment. It opened in 1956 and took his name. In the mid-1950s he appears to have been working under the practice title of Thomas Scott Sutherland & Partners.

Sutherland died on 13 June 1963 in Aberdeen. His practice was continued by Denis Michael Alastair Shewan as Scott Sutherland Design Associates.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 11, Queen's Terrace, Great Western Road, Aberdeen, ScotlandBusiness1953 *  

* 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 1T Scott SutherlandBefore 1953After 1954Partner 

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 21953Laboratories of Moores Products Ltd, Berryden Road  AberdeenScotlandPlans in hand for extension
Item 2 of 21954Houses with Garages, Great Western Road and Salisbury Terrace  AberdeenScotland 

References

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Builder15 May 1953  p776
Item 2 of 2Builder13 August 1954  p279