Basic Biographical Details

Name: T Scott Sutherland
Born: 13 January 1899
Died: 13 June 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. After his death, his wife continued to support the school and a library at the current Robert Gordon University which stands on the site of the Garthdee estate, was dedicated to her.

In the mid-1950s Scott Sutherland 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 :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 728, Salisbury Terrace, Aberdeen, ScotlandPrivate1923 *  
Item 2 of 713, Bridge Street, Aberdeen, ScotlandBusiness1 January 1923After 1924 
Item 3 of 7232a, Union Street, Aberdeen, ScotlandBusiness1926  
Item 4 of 710, Albyn Place, Aberdeen, ScotlandPrivate/business1930 *  
Item 5 of 7Beechgrove House, Fountainhall Road, Aberdeen, ScotlandBusinessBefore 19351936 
Item 6 of 7Polmuir House, Ferryhill, Aberdeen, ScotlandPrivate1938 *  
Item 7 of 7252, Union Street, Aberdeen, ScotlandBusinessc. 1939 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 4John Alexander Ogg Allan19181921Apprentice(?) 
Item 2 of 4Sutherland & McAndrewJune 19231924Partner 
Item 3 of 4Sutherland & TaylorBefore 1927After 1933Partner 
Item 4 of 4Thomas Scott Sutherland & PartnersBefore 1953After 1954Partner 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 12William George Whyte19221925Apprentice 
Item 2 of 12Ruth Knox Jackson1923 or 19241926 or 1927Apprentice 
Item 3 of 12Robert Smart Brown19251928Apprentice 
Item 4 of 12Ruth Knox Jackson19271928AssistantPart-time whilst completing her studies
Item 5 of 12Frank Maxwell Hutchinson19271930Apprentice 
Item 6 of 12William Halkerston9 September 19278 September 1930Apprentice 
Item 7 of 12Jessie Elizabeth Kennedy (Mrs Bassett)19281931Apprentice 
Item 8 of 12James Rattray Riddell1931March 1939Chief Assistant 
Item 9 of 12William Alexander WoodAfter 1931Before 1941(?)Assistant(?) 
Item 10 of 12James Conner19331936Apprentice 
Item 11 of 12James MunroDecember 1933After 1934Assistant 
Item 12 of 12William HalkerstonApril 1934June 1934Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6John Alexander Ogg Allan3 March 1924for Associateship
Item 2 of 6John Alexander Ogg AllanMid 1930for Fellowship
Item 3 of 6James Brown NicolMid 1930for Fellowship
Item 4 of 6John Wilson Walker3 March 1924for Associateship
Item 5 of 6Robert Gordon Wilson (junior)3 March 1924for Associateship
Item 6 of 6Robert Gordon Wilson (junior)Mid 1930for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 12Frederick George Grant AngusMid 1935for Associateship
Item 2 of 12James Conner12 March 1940For Associateship
Item 3 of 12Gordon Stansfield Esslemont12 December 1944For Associateship
Item 4 of 12William Halkerston11 February 1935for Associateship
Item 5 of 12Robert Archibald Hendry11 February 1947For Licentiateship
Item 6 of 12James Hunter16 February 1943for Licentiateship
Item 7 of 12Frank Maxwell HutchinsonEarly 1932for Associateship
Item 8 of 12Jessie Elizabeth Kennedy (Mrs Bassett)11 March 1935for Associateship
Item 9 of 12Lionel Ethelbert Knight13 May 1935for Associateship
Item 10 of 12Chessor Lille Matthew11 May 1936for Associateship
Item 11 of 12Robert George Will8 January 1934for Associateship
Item 12 of 12Duncan James Johnston Wright21 October 1941for Associateship

Buildings and Designs

This 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 38 Aberdeen Ice Rink  AberdeenScotlandDate unknown
Item 2 of 38 Bungalow, King's Gate  AberdeenScotlandDate unknown
Item 3 of 38 Hazelhead Golf Clubhouse  AberdeenScotlandDate unknown
Item 4 of 38 Poole's Building  AberdeenScotlandDate unknown
Item 5 of 38After 1923Housing schemeFraserburgh AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 6 of 38After 1923Nicoll HospitalRhynie AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 7 of 38After 1923Russell Institute and LibraryInsch AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 8 of 38After 1923Water supply schemeRhynie AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 9 of 381926Bungalow Duthrie Terrace  AberdeenScotland 
Item 10 of 381926Twelve Flatted HousesFraserburgh AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 11 of 381927Regal Cinema  AberdeenScotland 
Item 12 of 381929SchoolhouseClatt AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 13 of 38c. 1930Broomhill Estate  AberdeenScotlandFrom about 1930 onwards
Item 14 of 381931SchoolRhynie AberdeenshireScotlandExtension
Item 15 of 381932Regent Cinema  AberdeenScotland 
Item 16 of 381933250-252 Union Street  AberdeenScotland 
Item 17 of 381933Amicable House  AberdeenScotland 
Item 18 of 381933George Street Cinema  AberdeenScotland 
Item 19 of 381934Aberdeen United Trades' Council Hall  AberdeenScotland 
Item 20 of 381934Astoria CinemaKittybrewster AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 21 of 381934Offices and other buildings for Scottish Oils and Shell Max Ltd  AberdeenScotlandPlans in hand for new offices and reconstruction scheme
Item 22 of 381934Victoria CinemaInverurie AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 23 of 381935Majestic Cinema  AberdeenScotland 
Item 24 of 381935Super-cinemaHuntly AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 25 of 38c. 1935Beechgrove House site housing  AberdeenScotland 
Item 26 of 38193624 Service Flats  AberdeenScotland 
Item 27 of 381936CinemaTurriff AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 28 of 381936Houses, Anderson Drive  AberdeenScotland 
Item 29 of 38c. 1936Dunblane Hydropathic InstitutionDunblane PerthshireScotlandReconstruction, pool
Item 30 of 381937Caledonian Theatre Ltd  AberdeenScotland 
Item 31 of 381937Her Majesty's Theatre  AberdeenScotlandMajor refurbishment
Item 32 of 381937Peterhead CinemaPeterhead AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 33 of 381938Bon Accord Congregational Church, Hall and Three Houses  AberdeenScotlandPurchased church with idea of conversion into theatre.
Item 34 of 381939Buildings for Tulloch & Co  AberdeenScotland 
Item 35 of 381953Laboratories of Moores Products Ltd, Berryden Road  AberdeenScotlandPlans in hand for extension
Item 36 of 381954Houses with Garages, Great Western Road and Salisbury Terrace  AberdeenScotland 
Item 37 of 381956Garthdee House with East and West gatelodgesPeterculter AberdeenshireScotlandAdditions to east
Item 38 of 3831 May 1957Garthdee House with East and West gatelodgesPeterculter AberdeenshireScotland'former architectural student at the college, and gifted Garthdee House and grounds as the nucleus for the new School of Architecture'; 'carr[ied] out architectural work at net cost, while Alexander Hall and Sons under[took] the construction on a time and material basis...' (est. cost of extension ₤300,000 / actual cost ₤95,000) per Builder p1017


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 5McKean, Charles1987The Scottish Thirties: An Architectural Introduction Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press 
Item 2 of 5Morgan, Diane1976The life and times of Tommy Scott Sutherland The Leopard, 7-part series of articles, Dec/Jan 1975-July/August 1976 
Item 3 of 5Scottish Biographies1938  E J Thurston (pub.) 
Item 4 of 5Sutherland, T S1956Fat went West   
Item 5 of 5Sutherland, T Scott1957Life on one leg   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Scotsman3 June 2014  Obituary of Georgina Scott Sutherland (born 28 November 1918, died 14 May 2014)

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no3759 (microfilm reel 28); F no2794 (box 12)
Item 2 of 2Robert Gordon's University ArchiveCollection of plans, manuscripts etc Several photo albums, newscuttings and other memorabilia relating to busines and personal life