Basic Biographical Details

Name: Robert Aidan Matthew
Designation: Architect
Born: July 1936
Bio Notes: Robert Aidan Matthew, known as Aidan, was the son and first child of Robert Hogg Matthew and his wife Lorna. Born on July 1936 in the Matthews’ Darnaway Street flat in Edinburgh, Aidan followed in the family tradition of his father and grandfather (John Fraser Matthew of Lorimer and Matthew), choosing the architectural profession and enrolling in the Architectural Association in London in 1955. His tutors included James Gowan, John Killick and John Summerson.

In July 1958, in the third year of his studies, Aidan married Sylvia Cassidy, whom he had met at Michael Hall, the Rudolf Steiner School in East Sussex. The basement of the Matthew home at 24 Park Square East was subsequently converted to become their married home while Aidan completed his training.

On graduating in 1960 Aidan did his year out with Arup Associates. He left Arup in 1962 and signed up for a one-year civic design course in Edinburgh, at which point he and Sylvia vacated the basement flat in London and moved to Edinburgh. At the end of his course Aidan decided to join his father’s practice, Robert Matthew Johnson-Marshall and Partners (RMJM).

Aidan's career in RMJM's Edinburgh office progressed steadily, and he became an associate in 1972. In addition to undertaking domestic work in the 'vernacular' tradition, Aidan was extensively involved with RMJM’s overseas initiatives. Among other places, his work took him to the United States, where he researched the work practices of American architectural firms (1963-4) and undertook exploratory visits to assist his father in setting up the Washington-based joint partnership, Sir Robert Matthew, Metcalf & Partners (MMP) (1972); Islamabad, where he was involved in RMJM’s commission to participate in the planning and design of the new capital of Pakistan, acting as chief Edinburgh-based project architect for a National Archives building (1969); Libya, where he assisted in the negotiations surrounding the design of a new suburban residential zone outside Tripoli (1971); and Kaduna, Nigeria (1976-7), where he spent 18 months setting up an ‘anchor team’ to establish planning and design standards for seven new universities.

Aidan eventually left RMJM in the late 1970s, not long after the death of his father in 1975.

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 1Robert Matthew, Johnson-Marshall & Partners (RMJM)c. 1963Late 1970sArchitect 

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 4 National Library  IslamabadPakistan 
Item 2 of 4 National Museum  IslamabadPakistan 
Item 3 of 41969National Archives Building  IslamabadPakistanAidan acting as chief Edinburgh-based project architect for the Archives building.
Item 4 of 41971Industrialised Building Project (IBP) housing projectGurgi Tripoli (near)Libya 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1Glendinning, Miles2008Modern architect: the life and times of Robert Matthew RIBA Publishingpp55-7, 63, 84, 144, 262, 277-8, 376, 407, 409, 421, 479, 480-1, 483, 479, 488, 505, 527-8, 532