Gillespie, Kidd and Coia, 2006-2009

The celebrated firm of Gillespie, Kidd & Coia was created in 1927 when Jack Coia (1898-1981) joined the architectural practice set up in 1911 by John Gaff Gillespie (1870-1926) and William Kidd (1879-1928). Following some notable pre-war churches, the firm is best known for the distinctive character of its post World War II buildings, which include schools, colleges, hospitals, housing, private houses and churches.

The distinctive nature of these buildings can be attributed to the creative endeavours of Isi Metzstein (1928-2012) and Andy MacMillan (1928-2014) who assumed design control in 1956 resulting in an expanded aesthetic vocabulary, placing the buildings of this period at the forefront of contemporary European architecture.

The archive of the firm was moved to The Glasgow School of Art on the closure of the practice in 1987 and was officially gifted to the School in 2001. The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design and the City, Glasgow School of Art and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) were awarded HLF funding in 2006 to undertake a programme of activities celebrating the work of Gillespie, Kidd & Coia.

These activities included cataloguing and preserving the GKC archive, creating a major retrospective exhibition and publication on the firm’s work “Gillespie, Kidd & Coia: Architecture 1956 -1987“, and developing an education and outreach programme.

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