Lecture Series


2017 Lecture Series Programme

The Society continues to present a diverse and interesting programme of lectures presented by speakers who are engaging and informed about their subject matter.

This years lecture series is an extended bicentenary edition, with lectures taking place each month at a variety of venues. Tickets details for all events can be found at www.Thomson2017.org.uk

Wednesday 22rd February

Lost Thomson

Fiona Sinclair

The first of our 2017 series of lectures, delivered by Fiona Sinclair and focussing on Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson’s sadly lost buildings.

Wednesday 29th March

Sir John Soane

Prof Dean Hawkes

The second in our 2017 series of talks is by Professor Dean Hawkes.

His talk will focus on the work of Sir John Soane, in particular his house at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, the Law Courts at Westminster (long ago demolished, but remarkable), the Bank of England and the Dulwich Picture Gallery. When Sir John Soane died in 1837, Alexander Thomson was 20 years old. The two men were therefore, just, contemporaries. They also shared a deep engagement in applying the ‘classical language of architecture’, in Summerson’s terminology, in the transformation of two great cities, London and Glasgow. This lecture explores Soane’s response to London at the dawn of the 19th century.

We are delighted to confirm that the venue for this talk will be the Seona Reid Building at the Glasgow School of Art, providing an opportunity to experience the interior of Steven Holl’s new addition to the campus. Both Holl in Glasgow and Soane in London share a desire to manipulate and modulate light in their interiors.

Friday 7th April

Palladio, Frank Lloyd Wright and Thomson

Gary Paul

American architect and Renaissance architecture expert Gary Paul will discuss the work of Andrea Palladio, whilst also referring to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and Alexander Thomson.

Andrea Palladio’s work has been valued as the quintessence of High Renaissance calm and harmony. His reputation is based on his skill as a designer of villas, located in what was the Venetian Republic in northeastern Italy. Palladio’s teachings, summarized in the architectural treatise, The Four Books of Architecture, gained him recognition around the world.

Gary Paul is a graduate of the schools of Architecture at the Boston Architectural Center (B Arch) and Harvard Graduate School of Design (M Arch). He has maintained a design practice in New York City for 30 years, working on homes, apartments and small commercial projects. Gary’s work has been featured in magazines such as House Beautiful, House & Garden and Veranda, Country Living and The Chicago Tribune/Homes, NY Women; and in articles in the Detroit Free Press, and The New York Observer, and The New York Times.

Thursday 18th April

Thomson on Tape

Hosted as part of the Southside Fringe Festival, join The Alexander Thomson Society for an evening exploring a selection of rarely screened archive film about the life of Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson, his buildings and how his unique architectural style influenced Glasgow in the 1800s and today. Thomson’s legacy is particularly prominent in the Southside, having completed villas, terraces, churches and urban planning projects in the area. Whilst his personal life during his most creative period also centred here, as on completion of his terrace at Moray Place Thomson also chose to relocate his family to the area.

Wednesday 30th June


Wednesday 26th July

South Side Thomson

Sally White of The Alexander Thomson Society will deliver a talk focusing on Thomson’s architectural legacy in the South Side of Glasgow.

Tuesday 22nd August

Caledonia Road Church

Mark Baines is the chairman of the Alexander Thomson Society, an organisation that protects Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson’s legacy and his architectural heritage. This talk will look at the former Caledonia Road Church along with other buildings designed by Thomson on the South Side of the city, including Walmer Crescent, Moray Place and a number of lost buildings in Laurieston and Huthchesontown.

Wednesday 25th October

Texts and Thomson

The Alexander Thomson Society are pleased to present a rare books event in association with The Mitchell Library.

Glasgow architect and director of the Society, Scott Abercrombie, will deliver a talk giving a historical context to the importance of these books in relation to Thomson’s work and other contemporary Glaswegian architects. He will discuss built examples where the influence of these texts can be found in the architecture of Glasgow or where the ideas that they present have influenced the Thomson’s design philosophy.

Following this introduction a number of rare editions of these books will be made available for your perusal by The Mitchell Library. Due to the sensitivity of some of these texts the we have had to limit the number of tickets for this event, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Wednesday 29th November

Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson

Our concluding lecture represents a comprehensive look at the life and legacy of Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson, presented within his St Vincent Street Church. Tickets and further details for this event will be available from September 2017.

Previous Editions

2016 Lecture Series Programme

The Society continues to present a diverse and interesting programme of lectures presented by speakers who are engaging and informed about their subject matter.

This years Wednesday lectures series is based on the theme of ‘Ruin & Fragments’ and looks to be another exciting series.

Lectures held at 7-00pm for 7-30pm.

Bourdon Lecture Theatre,

The Bourdon Building, Glasgow School of Art

177 Renfrew Street

Glasgow G3 6RQ

Wednesday 23rd March

Sigurd Lewerentz – Northern Light

Professor Dean Hawkes

This talk offers evocative revelations of the church architecture of Swedish architect Sigurd Lewerentz. The use of materials and light qualities of his buildings are extraordinary and parallel those of Gillespie, Kidd & Coia during an equivalent period. Dean is a highly respected architect who has held numerous professorships including Cardiff and Cambridge. He is also the author of a number of imaginative publications on architecture and the quality of the human environment.

Wednesday 30th March

Charles Wilson

Fiona Sinclair

Fiona is an architect who amongst many other projects was responsible for the restoration and repairs to Moray Place. On this occasion Fiona will talk about the highly engaging architecture of another of Glasgow’s great nineteenth century architects, the prolific Charles Wilson.

Wednesday 6th April

After the Fire – The Glasgow School of Art

Liz Davidson

Elizabeth is currently the Project Manager responsible overseeing the repair and restoration of the Glasgow school of Art. She has extensive experience of architectural conservation and preservation throughout a distinguished career in Glasgow.

Wednesday 13th April

Gillespie, Kidd & Coia – Themes & Variations

Mark Baines

ATS Chair, Tutor and Lecturer at the Mackintosh School of Architecture Mark will discuss the architecture of this important Glasgow architectural practice through the study of a selection of their most memorable buildings.