Elected ARSA: 17 March1954 

Elected RSA: 14 February 1962 

Dr J. A. Coia, who died on Friday, 14th August, aged 83, was a past president of the Glasgow Institute of Architects and of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, and an honorary president of the board of governors of the Glasgow School of Art.


He was much honoured in his lifetime, being elected a member of the Royal Scottish Academy and had perhaps the unusual distinction of being given an Honorary Doctorate by both Glasgow University and the University of Strathclyde, the former on the occasion of their 500th anniversary.


He was awarded a C.B.E. and an Italian honour and gained what is perhaps the most prestigious award in architecture, the Royal Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects, awarded by the Queen. Jack Coia, as he was known to everyone, was also much loved throughout his life by the generations who knew him in his student and teaching days at the Glasgow School of Art and by those who came to know him in the profession of his art.


His skill in draughtsmanship was legendary and throughout his life he was both a friend and a patron of artists. He would perhaps want to be remembered best for his church work for the Glasgow Archdiocese and for the award-winning buildings of his practice.


He and his wife were noted for the style and generosity of their hospitality. His generosity of spirit is also gratefully remembered by those of us who were privileged to work with him. His passing extinguishes a light which warmly illuminated an era.


RSA Obituary by Andrew MacMillan. Transcribed from the 1981 RSA Annual Report

Further Images

Jack Coia CBE RSA (1898-1981), Free Design For a Church in the Italian Renaissance Manner

Architectural drawing, around 1922-3, 54 x 69.5cm

RSA Diploma Collection (Deposited 1981) 1993.104