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University of Glasgow :: Story :: Biography of Norman Aitken Dick
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Norman Aitken Dick

Biography of Norman Aitken Dick

Norman Aitken Dick was a Scottish architect known for designing and supervising University and Western Infirmary buildings including the Tennant Institute (now the Western Clinical Research and Education Centre) and the Gardiner Institute of Medicine.

Norman Aitken Dick was born in 1883 in Newington, Edinburgh, the son of Robert Dick and Margaret Broadfoot Aitken. He was articled to Peddie & Washington Browne from 1901 to 1905 and studied in Paris from 1905 to 1907. At the end of his studies he travelled throughout France and Brittany, working for Cheston & Perkin on from October to December 1907. In December 1907 Dick was recruited by John James Burnet for his Glasgow office and in 1909 Dick was able to buy a ten-year partnership in the practice due to the financial problems the firm was facing.

Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, Dick enlisted and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Royal Scots. Afterwards, Dick returned to Burnet's Glasgow office. In c1920 the firm's trusted chief clerk, Duncan, withdrew money held on behalf of contractors and disappeared. In order to make up the loss Dick repurchased his partnership, and for the good name of the firm Duncan was not reported to the police. The Glasgow practice then became Burnet Son & Dick. Dick undertook detailed work and supervised many of the firm's projects including the University of Glasgow's Graham Kerr Building and Memorial Chapel.

The partnership dissolved in the late 1920s following several costly design errors and in 1929 Dick was admitted FRIBA. In the early to mid-1930s Dick designed the Tennant Institute (now the Western Clinical Research and Education Centre) and the Gardiner Institute of Medicine, part of The Western Infirmary.

In the late 1930s Norman Aitken Dick was not receiving as much work as before. Following Burnet's retirement Thomas Smith Tait, partner in Burnet's London office, began receiving commissions in Glasgow which Dick may have expected and Dick also lost the University's business to T. Harold Hughes. He closed the Glasgow office in 1940 and moved to London. Dick was expelled from RIBA in 1942 and died in London in 1948.

Summary

Norman Aitken Dick
Born 12 April 1883.
Died February 1948.
University Link: GU Degree:
Occupation categories: architects
Record last updated: 21st May 2015

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