Basic Biographical Details

Name: Margaret Brown (Mrs Richards)
Designation: Architect
Bio Notes: Margaret Richards (nee Brown) was born in Kingussie, the daughter of an engineer. After a peripatetic childhood, she enrolled at Kingston School of Architecture at the age of 16.

After graduating in 1952 she worked for two years as an architect with Powell & Moya in London, where she was, for example, the job architect for one of the slab blocks of the renowned Pimlico Project housing development in Westminster.

In October 1954 she joined Robert Matthew's newly established private practice in Edinburgh. It was initially planned that she would be mainly involved in the practice's New Zealand House project in London but by 1955 she had already been allocated to Scottish projects, including Turnhouse Airport (1954-6) and the design of Crombie Hall for the University of Aberdeen (1955-60). She was elected ARIAS in 1955.

In May 1958 she married John Richards, also of Matthew's firm (which had by then become Robert Matthew Johnson-Marshall), and they spent six months travelling around Europe, taking part in archaeological excavations in Crete and spending three months at the British School in Rome.

On their return, Margaret worked part-time for Matthew's firm and was involved in projects such as the unsuccessful 1959 competition entry for Churchill College, Cambridge, and the 1957 competition scheme for Leith Fort (which came second place), for which she was sent to the Berlin Interbau housing demonstration project to examine a tower block by Dutch architects J H Van den Broek and J B Bakema.

By 1964 she was in independent practice at 19 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. She practiced on her own account and as an associate in the Richards practice, and from 1978 she was a tutor in architectural conservation at Edinburgh College of Art.

Margaret has been a council member of the Scottish Special Housing Association and for a number of years was a member of the Cases Panel and the National Committee of the AHSS. A founding trustee and former chairman of the Lothian Building Preservation Trust, she has served on the Historic Buildings Council for Scotland, the Advisory Committee on Artistic Matters of the Church of Scotland and on the Intermational Committee for Training of ICOMOS. She sits on the Steering Group of the Dictionary of Scottish Architects.

She lives at Lady’s Field, Whitekirk, East Lothian, and has two children and grandchildren.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 38, Palmerston Place, EdinburghBusiness1954  
Item 2 of 315, Lonsdale Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1955 *  
Item 3 of 319, Northumberland Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1964 *  

* 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 3Powell & Moya19521954Architect 
Item 2 of 3Robert Hogg MatthewOctober 19541956Architect 
Item 3 of 3Robert Matthew Johnson-Marshall (RMJM)1956After 1959ArchitectPart-time from 1958 onwards

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 31954Turnhouse Airport  EdinburghScotland 
Item 2 of 31955University of Aberdeen, Crombie Hall of Residence  AberdeenScotland 
Item 3 of 31959Churchill College, Cambridge UniversityCambridge CambridgeshireEnglandBrown was working on the entry for the competition; which they were unsuccessful in winning


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 4Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp18-19, p165 Turnhouse Airport
Item 2 of 4Glendinning, Miles2008Modern architect: the life and times of Robert Matthew RIBA Publishingp156-7,160,172,204,239,248
Item 3 of 4Municipal Annual1964Scottish Municipal Annual1964-1965  
Item 4 of 4Willis, Peter1977New architecture in Scotland  p7-8, p15-16 Turnhouse Airport

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3Courtesy of James Dunbar-NasmithInterview of James Dunbar-Nasmith by Jessica Taylor, 15 April 2009  
Item 2 of 3RIAS, Rutland SquareRecords of membership  
Item 3 of 3RIAS, Rutland SquareRecords of membership Per D Mays