T. Harold Hughes

Biography of T. Harold Hughes

Thomas Harold Hughes (1887-1949) was an architect known for designing the University's Joseph Black Building, McMillan Reading Room, and Garscadden Sports Pavilion. He was assisted in many University projects by his architectural partner David Stark Reid Waugh.

Thomas Harold Hughes was born in 1887, the son of Thomas Hughes, a Staffordshire potter and his wife, Catherine Ann. He was articled to Jones & Hilton of Burslem from 1904 to 1908. In 1908 he gained a scholarship to the Royal College of Art under Professor Arthur Beresford Pite, in whose office he assisted. There he became King's Prizeman, National Competition Prizeman, RIBA Silver Medallist (essays), City of London Guilds Institute Medallist, and Royal College of Art Travelling Scholar. In 1910 Hughes was recruited by Robert Gordon's College in Aberdeen to initiate a school of architecture, and it was there that he met his future wife Edith Mary Wardlaw Burnet (niece of Sir John James Burnet and considered Britain's first practising woman architect), who was one of his first students. He was admitted ARIBA on 27 March 1911, his proposers being Arthur Beresford Pite, Alfred Bowman Yeates and Arthur Clyne of Aberdeen.

Hughes was offered a partnership in Sir John James Burnet's Glasgow office where he stayed until 1920 when he left the partnership to teach at the Glasgow School of Architecture. He succeeded James Black Fulton as Professor and Director in 1922. Hughes collaborated with the self-taught Oxford Polymath Edward Arnold Greening Lamborn on 'Towns and Town Planning, Ancient and Modern' published by Oxford University Press in 1923. The book established his reputation in Oxford, his first commission from an Oxford College being restoration and alteration work at Merton from 1922 to 1925. This led to other design work in Universities and from 1937 he worked in partnership with David Stark Reid Waugh. Waugh had also been a teacher at the Glasgow School of Architecture and was working as Hughes's assistant.

In addition to the Joseph Black Building and McMillan Reading Room Hughes & Waugh designed the Stevenson Laboratory extension in the Bower Building in 1937, and a replacement for the Department of Surgery Building, part of The Western Infirmary, in 1947 but this was never begun. At the end of 1946 the firm of Hughes & Waugh was responsible for supervising the repairs to damages of University buildings caused by the Clydebank bombing raids of 13 March 1941, these included the Pearce Lodge chimney-heads and most of the windows on the south sides of the Gilbert Scott, West Medical, and Zoology buildings.

Ill health forced Hughes to retire from the partnership in 1942 but the Hughes & Waugh name remained in use until the time of Hughes's death in 1949.


T. Harold Hughes
Born 1887.
Died 9 November 1949.
University Link: GU Degree:
Occupation categories: architects
Record last updated: 17th Jul 2015

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