John Hardie Glover RSA 1913-1994
Elected ARSA: 19 March 1969
Elected RSA: 2 November 1981
Hardie Glover died aged 81 years on 6 April 1994 at his home, the Coach house, Belford, Edinburgh. A senior Academician he was elected Associate in 1969 and an Academician in 1981. Born in North Berwick on 21 February 1913 he was educated at the local High School and Edinburgh College of Art and after qualifying he joined the firm of Leslie Graham Thomson in 1936.
During the Second World War Hardie served in the Royal Engineers at home and in India and afterwards was appointed Exhibitions Officer of the Council of Industrial Design. In 1947 he joined practice with Basil Spence and the partnership eventually developed into the highly successful firm of Sir Basil Spence, Glover and Ferguson.
His first significant building was created in conjunction with Basil Spence at Morton hall Crematorium. Significantly his funeral took place in this, still one of his best and most sensitive works. Hardie was one of the most distinguished Scottish architects of his generation designing a great number of important buildings and gaining many awards.
He was responsible for the Scottish end of the practice while Sir Basil Spence based himself in London after winning the design competition for Coventry Cathedral in 1957.
His major contribution to the success of the practice has perhaps not always been adequately recognised, but without his sensitive and creative guidance it would not have made the significant impact that it did on Scottish Architecture from the Fifties through to the Eighties. Hardie subscribed to the team approach to architectural design and he worked closely with his partners and colleagues in realising a vast portfolio of building designs over the years.
Many different strands of development were followed under his creative captaincy, dependant on the personalities of those with whom he worked. He always allowed the talents of others to be expressed within his overall guidance. He had feel for the inherent quality of materials, was attentive to the smallest of details and insisted on the highest standard of workmanship.
Under his leadership much fine architecture was produced, including buildings at the Universities of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt, Glasgow, Liverpool, Durham, Newcastle, Aston in Birmingham and University College Dublin, Headquarters for Scottish Widows and the Automobile Association, the original Glasgow Airport and the Royal Highland Showground.
He retired from practice in 1980 but continued to take an active interest in the work of his younger partners and proteges, and his influence on their work was considerable and greatly appreciated. One of nature’s gentlemen; a quiet,unassuming but immensely talented man, he had the rare gift of being able to delegate with guidance and encouragement. Many architects in the East of Scotland, and beyond, owe their foundation in architectural practice to the wisecouncil of Hardie Glover.
His wife, Laura, was a great support to him throughout his career and he was immensely proud of his son John, daughter Viki and his six grandchildren. He spent many happy times away from the pressures of business with his family, or his fishing rod, at his beloved cottage at Drumbeg.
A devoted family man, his warmth and compassion extended beyond its boundaries and embraced all with whom he worked and came into close contact.
RSA Obituary by Andrew Merrylees, R.S.A. Transcribed by the 1994 RSA Annual Report