Basic Biographical Details

Name: Thomas Henney
Designation: Architect
Born: 18 July 1933
Died: 17 February 1998
Bio Notes: Thomas Henney was born on 18 July 1933 and brought up in Kirkcudbright. He was educated at the Academy there. He studied architecture at Edinburgh College of Art and was articled to G Garden Davidson in Kirkcudbright. During this period he won several awards including the Archibald Dawnay Scholarship (1957) and the Heriot-Watt College medal for Advanced Architectural Studies. He was an assistant with Sir Basil Spence & Partners from 1951-61, (being elected ARIBA in the latter year), moving to a similar position with J Williams Beal & Partners in Boston Massachusetts. He completed the degree of MArch at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology around this time with an Edith Merrill Hobbs Scholarship to add to his academic distinctions. He later joined the Architects Collaborative Inc in Cambridge, Massachusetts but returned to Scotland in 1963 to take up a post as Principal Architect with the Architectural Research Unit at the University of Edinburgh. He was elected ARIAS in that year. He remained with the Research Unit as principal architect for 13 years. During this period he forged close links with the Laboratories Investigation Unit of the goernment's Department of Education & Science. He was appointed an honorary fellow of the University of Edinburgh in 1976.

In 1976 he set up business on his own account. He was joined by William Sutherland and Stephen Murray as Associates (and Nick Kemp as architectural associate during the recession of the 1970s and 1980s). In 1984 he was practising from 7 Buccleuch Place as the Quoin Architects Group joined by Ed Taylor and Alan Stevens who were old colleagues from the ARU. They formed a group practice in the same office. The practice subsequently moved to Boroughloch Square. The practice, which remained small, flourished with work for Edinburgh and Napier Universities, the Medical Research Council and the Scottish Home & Health Department. By 1984 Henney was a Fellow of the RIAS as well as FCIOB and FBIM. Ten year later in 1994 he wa still in practice in Boroughloch Square but by this date simply as Thomas Henney.

Henney also found time to write papers and deliver lectures on laboratory design and furnishings and building elements. He served on many committees and working parties including the Building Standards Advisory Committee and others concerned with not just Scottish but European matters. Latterly he chaired the National House Building Council in Scotland, a council member of the British Board of Agrément and chaired the LBI/18 Committee (Standards Development on laboratory furnishings) for two years. He was also involved with the Saltire Society and the RIAS.

He married twice, first to Charlotte with whom he had two children, Avril and Hugh, and later to Hely. As a person he was quiet and ‘measured real time in terms of contentment’. He enjoyed gardening in his spare time. He liked nothing better than driving in the countryside and testing his skills as a map reader and navigator. He had a ‘good eye for line and order, colour and design’. He would touch the surface of buildings as if to feel if they had been finished properly. He was very knowledgeable on a great variety of subjects – from Edinburgh pubs to the history of Leith. In 1991 he was appointed MBE for services to architecture.

He died on 17 February 1998.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 63, Boroughloch Square, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness 1998 
Item 2 of 6Blacket Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate 1998 
Item 3 of 6104, Pilton Avenue, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1960  
Item 4 of 614, Darnell Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1963  
Item 5 of 62, Cargil Court Mews, Cargil Terrace, EDinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1965 *After 1970 
Item 6 of 67, Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1979 *  

* 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 6G Garden Davidson  Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6The Architects Collaborative 1963Architect 
Item 3 of 6Basil Spence & Partners19511961Assistant 
Item 4 of 6J Williams Beal & PartnersAfter 1961 Assistant 
Item 5 of 6Edinburgh University Housing Research Unit (HRU) / Architecture Research Unit (ARU)19631976Architect 
Item 6 of 6Quoin Architects GroupEarly 1980s Partner 

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 121969FlatsSalford LancashireEngland 
Item 2 of 121969Flats and courtyard housesCumbernauld LanarkshireScotland 
Item 3 of 121970sMurrayfield Housing EstateBlackburn West LothianScotlandPhase I, environmental improvements, £160,000
Item 4 of 121970Laboratory for BRS (British Road Services?)East Kilbride LanarkshireScotland 
Item 5 of 121971Flats for the City of SalfordSalford LancashireEngland 
Item 6 of 121973Laboratory for DOEEast Craigs EdinburghScotland 
Item 7 of 12Late 1970sMurrayfield Housing EstateBlackburn West LothianScotlandImprovements for 5-storey housing block, £44,000
Item 8 of 12Late 1970sMurrayfield Housing EstateBlackburn West LothianScotlandConversion of 4-storey housing block, £125,000
Item 9 of 12Late 1970sMurrayfield Housing EstateBlackburn West LothianScotlandPhase III, environmental improvements, £125,000

N.B. The RIBA directory for 1981 gives the cost of this as £504,000
Item 10 of 12Late 1970sUniversity of Edinburgh, Zoology Department, animal house  EdinburghScotland 
Item 11 of 12c. 1980Hawick Swimming PoolHawick RoxburghshireScotlandRenovation - cost £20,000
Item 12 of 12c. 1980Old High School  EdinburghScotlandConversion of building to University department, cost £27,000


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 6RIBA1961Kalendar 1960-61   
Item 2 of 6RIBA1965The RIBA Kalendar   
Item 3 of 6RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   
Item 4 of 6RIBA1979Directory of members   
Item 5 of 6RIBA1984RIBA Directory of members   
Item 6 of 6RIBA1994A Directory of RIBA Members   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 4Glasgow Herald2 March 1998   
Item 2 of 4RIAS NewsletterApril 1998v9, no3 Obituary
Item 3 of 4RIAS NewsletterMay 1998v9, no4 Death note
Item 4 of 4Scotsman24 February 1998  Obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIAS, Rutland SquareRecords of membership