Basic Biographical Details

Name: Peter Dunbar Lawson
Born: 11 August 1910
Died: March 1989
Bio Notes: Peter Dunbar Lawson was born in Leven on 11 August 1910, the son of William Dunbar Lawson, master grocer, and his wife Helen Purvis Brown.

From May 1926 to September 1933 he worked in the office of Briggs & Thornley in Liverpool. From the latter year he spent five years at the School of Architecture, Edinburgh College of Art including a post-gradudate year spent studying town planning, with the aid of a scholarship. He also won a silver medal and the Rowand Anderson Scholarship which enabled him to make a three-week study tour in France. He sat the final exam in June 1939 and was was elected ARIBA in 1940. He later made a second trip to sturdy contemporary French architecture.

During the Second World War Lawson served as a Flying Office with the RAF. After demobilisation he was senior town planning assistant to Sir Patrick Abercrombie from 1945-47, working on the replanning scheme for Edinburgh. In 1948 he emigrated to Northern Rhodesia to take up a post as Senior Architect in the Public Works Department there. In 1956 at the time of his election to FRIBA he was still in this post. He was proposed by Alfred Lloyd Spencer, George Clifford Duke and Cedric George Tilley. Spencer in his statement made special mention of Kabulanga Secondary School in Lusaka which Lawson had designed and noted that it was 'classed as one of the best designed schools in Southern Africa'.

He returned to England prior to 1970 and died in Worthing, Sussex in March 1989.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 5Kinnoul, Redford Avenue, Colinton, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1940 *  
Item 2 of 5Public Works Department/PO Box 137, Lusaka, Northern RhodesiaBusiness1948After 1955 
Item 3 of 532 , Cecil Rhodes Drive, Lusaka, Northern RhodesiaPrivate1948After 1955 
Item 4 of 5c/o Westminster Bank, Fore Street, Tainton, Somerset, EnglandPrivate1960 *  
Item 5 of 5Cherry Mere, Basingfield Road , Thames Ditton, Surrey, EnglandPrivate1970 *  

* 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 3Briggs & ThornelyMay 1926September 1933Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3(Sir) Leslie Patrick Abercrombie (or Patrick Abercrombie)19451947Assistant 
Item 3 of 3Government of Northern Rhodesia1948 Senior AssistantIn Public Works Department


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6George Clifford Duke7 February 1956For Fellowship
Item 2 of 6Joseph Louis Hampson9 January 1940For Associateship
Item 3 of 6Alfred Lloyd Spencer7 February 1956For Fellowship
Item 4 of 6Thomas Aikman Swan9 January 1940For Associateship
Item 5 of 6(Sir) Arnold Thornely9 January 1940For Associateship
Item 6 of 6Cedric Charles Tilley7 January 1956For Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1John Ronald Beaton11 April 1961for Fellowship


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 1RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3England and WalesBirths, marriages and deaths  
Item 2 of 3National Archives (via Scotlands People)Statutory births  
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no7418, F no5019 (Combined Box 57)