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Peter Womersley Architecture

Modern UK Architect: 20th Century Scottish + English Building Projects

post updated 23 June 2022

Peter Womersley News

23 June 2022

High Sunderland Building Award

High Sunderland is one of the 29 winners of the 2022 RIBA National Awards for architecture.

High Sunderland, Galashiels


RIBA Awards

6 June 2022
High Sunderland, Galashiels by Loader Monteith

This Modern Scottish property wins an RIAS Award in 2022

It is one of the eight exceptional buildings as winners of Scotland’s national architecture awards.

High Sunderland home in Galashiels by Loader Monteith

High Sunderland home in Galashiels by Loader Monteith

High Sunderland home in Galashiels by Loader Monteith

High Sunderland home in Galashiels by Loader Monteith
photos : Dapple Photography

High Sunderland is a 1957 Category A-listed modernist icon designed by Peter Womersley. Its future was in jeopardy following a fire in 2017 until new owners Juliet Kinchin and Paul Stirton – both Scottish historians of architecture and design – appointed Loader Monteith to undertake an extraordinarily careful and skilful restoration.

RIAS Awards 2022 Winners

22 Jan 2017
Peter Womersley Architect
“Combining brutality and breezy optimism, the British architect Peter Womersley brought a purist’s beauty to small-town projects in the 60s and 70s. Now his virtuosic talents are being rediscovered”, reports Rowan Moore in The Guardian today.

Bernat Klein Studio in Selkirk by architect Peter Womersley:
Bernat Klein Studio in Selkirk by Peter Womersley architect
photograph : Rebecca Wober

Peter Womersley (1923-93) was, quite simply, one of the best British architects of the 20th century, and until recently one of the most overlooked. His buildings are adventurous but poised; lucid, brave in conception and considered in their detail.

Fairydean Stadium, Galashiels, Borders, Scotland:
Gala Fairydean Stadium in Galashiels by Peter Womersley architect
photo © Adrian Welch

He knew how to be elegant in a classical modern way but also how to play with a mannerism – a strange window rhythm, an imbalance in the structure, a stretched proportion, an ambiguous material – so as to achieve a greater composure than if he had played only by the rules.

Garleton Unit, Herdmanflat Hospital, Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland
Herdmanflat Hospital Haddington
photo © Adrian Welch

Rebecca Wober, an Edinburgh-based architect (Ed. a friend and former colleague of mine on the Scottish Parliament Building) who has done much to unearth his life and work, says he made “spaces that just sing”.

Sadly last summer an “exquisite house of his, perched like Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater over some coastal rocks” in Ayrshire was destroyed. Historic Scotland had not listed it.

Bernat Klein Studio in Scottish Borders by Peter Womersley architect:
Bernat Klein Studio in by architect Peter Womersley
photo : Rebecca Wober

Rebecca and her partner, architect Gordon Duffy, is currently striving to rescue a boiler house, designed by Womersley for a former mental hospital in Melrose, by carving five apartments out of the concrete building: Dingleton Boiler House Building in Melrose

source: Peter Womersley Architect

9 Aug 2016
A portrait of Womersley: a talk at the Mound in Edinburgh during the Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland
To coincide with the Scottish National Portrait Gallery Festival exhibition “Out of their Heads”, architect Rebecca Wober will be giving a talk on Peter Womersley – 20thC Architecture.
When: Wednesday 10th August, 12.45- 1.30pm
Where: Hawthornden lecture theatre, National Gallery of Scotland, The Mound, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

28 May 2012
Garleton Unit, Herdmanflat Hospital, Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland
Date built: 1965
Garleton Unit Herdmanflat Hospital, Haddington
photo © Adrian Welch
Haddington Buildings

Fairydean Stadium, Galashiels FC, Borders, Scotland
Date built: 1965
Peter Womersley Galashiels Scottish Borders Concrete Building
photo © Adrian Welch
Gala Fairydean Stadium
This building is designed in a similar architecture style to Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh. The raw shuttering of the concrete, the powerful angular forms and the focus on cantilever and buttresses in tension are dominant. This building was controversially listed by Historic Scotland in late 2006.

Farnley Hey, Huddersfield, England, UK
Date built: 1952-55
For sale in Apr 2012
Website with sales details:
The residence, also known as Farnley Tyas, has a Grade II listing. The unusual glass design of the house won widespread acclaim. This Modern house is located in a 1.2 acre plot. Farnley Hey house was built by Law Stead, a building company owned by Peter Stead, Architect, 1922-99, known for modern & inspirational architecture proposals.

Peter Womersley Architect – Key Projects

Peter Womersley Scottish Projects

Health Centre, Kelso, Borders, Scotland
Date built: 1967
Group Practice building

Bernat Klein Studio, Selkirk, Borders, Scotland
Dates built: 1969-72
now listed, for Yugoslavian textile designer

Bernat Klein Studio project, Scottish Borders, Scotland
Date built: 2002-
Bernat Klein Studio
photo : Rebecca Wober
Bernat Klein Studio
This bold modern studio was voted 5th of the Best 100 Modern Scottish Buildings in Oct 2005. The building is being refurbished and redeveloped by Duffy & Batt Architects.

Dingleton Boiler House – redevelopment, Melrose, Scottish Borders, Scotland
Dingleton Boiler House
image : studio DuB
Dingleton Boiler House

Garleton Unit, Herdmanflat Hospital, Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland
Date built: 1965
Under refurbishment in 2012.

Monklands Leisure Centre, Bank Street, Langloan, Coatbridge
Date built: 1977
One of Womersley’s final projects, rather dull

Nuffield Transplantation Surgery Unit, Western General Hospital (WGH), Crewe, Edinburgh, Scotland
Date built: –
Nuffield Transplantation Surgery Unit, Western General Hospital
photo © Adrian Welch
The Nuffield Transplantation Surgery Unit was a sophisticated purpose-built unit for transplantation which aimed to provide a “germ-free” environment for transplant patients.

Location: Scottish Borders, Scotland, UK

Peter Womersley Architect Practice Information

Former English modernist architect practice

British Architecture Practices

Peter Womersley (1923-93) was a British architect, known for his work in the modernist style.

This Modernist architect lived in the Scottish Borders.

He was influenced by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and by the American Case Study Houses.

Stadium in Galashiels:
Fairydean Stadium Galashiels
photo © Adrian Welch

Another Modern Architect based in the UK with buildings in Scotland is Basil Spence

Modern Architectural Designs

Modern Architects

Modern Houses

Architecture Studios

Buildings / photos for the Peter Womersley Architect page welcome