Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Belfast. According to the 1911 census, Robert Hanna Gibson, who was born in Belfast in 1890, was the only child of Hugh Gibson, grocer, of Sandy Row, Belfast, and his wife, Margaret. He was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and received his architectural training in the office of HENRY SEAVER HENRY SEAVER , whose partner he became circa 1932. After Seaver retired in the later 1930s, Gibson carried on the practice.(1) In 1935 in collaboration with JOHN MCGEAGH  JOHN MCGEAGH he won the competition for an extension to the Belfast Municipal Sanatorium at Whiteabbey, Co. Antrim.(2) He was in partnership with J.H. Stevenson circa 1940-42 and with E.D. Taylor from circa 1949 until his retirement in the early 1960s. He died on 12 February 1979, survived by his wife and daughter.

Gibson was an active member of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects, of which he was president for six sessions. He was an advocate for the improvement of architectural education in Northern Ireland and for the establishment of a School of Architecture at Queen's University. In 1933 he acted as assessor for the Portstewart Town Hall competition(3) and in 1935 was one of the three assessors for the Sir Charles Lanyon Memorial Cup.(4) He was one of three architects invited to join the newly-formed Council for Preservation of Rural Ulster in 1938.(5) Larmour describes him as an admirer of the work of EDWIN LUTYENS. EDWIN LUTYENS. (6)

Gibson played a considerable role in the public life of Northern Ireland as a member of the Government Building Committee, the Planning Advisory Board, the Guild of Queen's University and as one of the Northern Ireland Sites Commissioners under the Industrial Development Act. He served for several years on the Libraries, Museums & Art committee of Belfast Corporation(7) and was president of the Ulster Arts Club in 1933 and 1934.(8) In his private life he ran a farm and collected period furniture and paintings. Gibson's pupils and assistants included RICHARD DAVID GRAHAM.  RICHARD DAVID GRAHAM.

RIBA: fellow, 7 May 1928.(9)
RIAI: member, 1919;(10) re-elected member, 1945;(11) fellow, 1947;(12) ceased membership 1964 or 1965.
RSUA: hon. secretary, 1927; hon. treasurer, 1928,1929,1944-46; president, 1931-33,1946-48,1950-52.

Addresses: Scottish Temperance Buildings, 16 Donegall Square South, Belfast, <=1919->=1964.(13)
Home: 38 Sandy Row, Belfast, 1911;  The Glebe, Ballinderry, from c. 1940.(14)

See WORKS; see also works of SEAVER & SEAVER & amp; GIBSON. GIBSON.



References

All information not otherwise accounted for is from the biography of Gibson in RSUA Jubilee Year Book 1951-1952, 8, which is illustrated with a portrait photograph, and from his obituary in RSUA Year Book (1980), 13. Another biography in IB 73, 29 Aug 1931, 753, has not been seen.

(1) Obituary of Seaver in IB 83, 24 May 1941, 261.
(2) Architect & Building News 139, 31 Aug 1934, 233; IB 76, 17 Nov 1934, 989. In 1938 Gibson and McGeagh designed a further extension, or a new sanatorium, on the site; a proposal that the sanatorium should be moved to a new site near Lisburn does not seem to have been carried out. See IB 80, 25 Jun 1938, 524; 81, 7 Jan,22 Jul,19 Aug,16 Sep 1939, 22,627,701,791.
(3) Belfast Newsletter, 13 Apr 1933 (advertisement of competition); IB 75, 6 May 1933, 368; Irish News, 8 Jun 1933.
(4) IB 77, 12 Jan 1935, 18.
(5) IB 80, 2 Apr 1938, 266.
(6) Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 39.
(7) IB 75, 11 Feb 1933, 89.
(8) IB 75, 11 Feb 1933, 89; 76, 10 Feb 1934, 98.
(9) RIBAJ 35 (1927-28), 573.
(10) JRIAI (1920), 4.
(11) JRIAI (1946) , 1.
(12) RIAI Year Book (1948), 18.
(13) RIAI membership list for 1919; IB 106, 4 Jul 1964, 533.
(14) C.E.B. Brett, Buildings of Co. Antrim (1996), 135.


57 work entries listed in chronological order for GIBSON, ROBERT HANNA


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Building: CO. ANTRIM, BALLYMENA, TOWN HALL
Date: 1920
Nature: Competition entrant in collaboration with J.G. Smyth. Placed second.
Refs: IB 72, 8 Nov 1930, 994

Building: SCOTLAND, PAISLEY, WAR MEMORIAL
Date: 1922
Nature: Competition entrant in collaboration with J.G. Smyth. Received honorable mention.
Refs: IB 64, 8,22 Apr 1922, 210(illus.),275; 72, 8 Nov 1930, 994

Building: SCOTLAND, PAISLEY, WAR MEMORIAL
Date: 1922
Nature: Competition entrant in collaboration with J.G. Smyth. Received honorable mention.
Refs: IB 64, 8,22 Apr 1922, 210(illus.),275; 72, 8 Nov 1930, 994

Building: ENGLAND, GOOLE (YORKSHIRE), WAR MEMORIAL
Date: 1922
Nature: Competition entrant in collaboration with J.G. Smyth. Received honorable mention.
Refs: IB 72, 8 Nov 1930, 994

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, RYDALMERE STREET, GARAGES
Date: 1923
Nature: For Mssrs. Barron & Co.
Refs: IB 65, 20 Oct 1923, 811

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BALLINDERRY, WAR MEMORIAL HALL
Date: 1924
Nature: Neo-Georgian, roughcast.
Refs: C.E.B. Brett, Buildings of Co. Antrim (1996), 251(illus.)

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, COLLEGE SQUARE NORTH, PREMISES
Date: 1925
Nature: Alts. & adds.
Refs: IB 67, 17 Oct 1925, 857

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, SANDOWN ROAD, HOUSES (004)
Date: 1925
Nature: 4 villas.
Refs: IB 67, 21 Mar 1925, 229

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, SHANKILL ROAD, NO. 298-300 (PUBLIC LIBRARY)
Date: 1925-28
Nature: Entry of RHG and J.G. Smyth placed third in competition. (Assessor: James Cumming Wynnes.)
Refs: IB 67, 27 Jun 1925, 529-30; 72, 8 Nov 1930, 994

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, COLLEGE SQUARE EAST, PREMISES
Date: 1926
Nature: Alts. & adds. for Governors of Royal Academical Institution. Plans approved by City Surveyor.
Refs: IB 68, 7 Aug 1926, 619

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, ORMEAU STREET, PREMISES
Date: 1926
Nature: For Mssrs. T. Stirling.
Refs: IB 68, 1 May 1926, 354

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, ANN STREET, SHOP & TEA ROOMS
Date: 1927
Nature: Conversion from shop and offices, for Mssrs. T. Stirling Ltd. Plans approved by City Surveyor.
Refs: IB 69, 19 Feb 1927, 122

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DUNRAVEN AVENUE, HOUSES (010)
Date: 1927
Nature: For Mssrs. Keldie & Boyd. Plans approved by City Surveyor.
Refs: IB 69, 6 Aug,15 Oct 1927, 578,765

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, BELMONT ROAD, HOUSE
Date: 1928
Nature: Adds. ?By RHG.
Refs: IB 70, 28 Apr 1928, 372

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DUNRAVEN AVENUE, HOUSES (004)
Date: 1928
Nature: -
Refs: IB 70, 31 Mar 1928, 280

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DUNRAVEN AVENUE, HOUSES (006)
Date: 1928
Nature: -
Refs: IB 70, 7 Jan 1928, 30

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, EAST BREAD STREET, HOUSES (006)
Date: 1928
Nature: -
Refs: IB 70, 28 Apr 1928, 372

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, GREENVILLE ROAD, HOUSES (012)
Date: 1928
Nature: -
Refs: IB 70, 27 Oct 1928, 923

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, ORMEAU STREET, PREMISES
Date: 1928
Nature: Adds.
Refs: IB 70, 23 Jun 1928, 550

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, OSBORNE PARK (NEAR), PAVILION
Date: 1928
Nature: Adds.
Refs: IB 70, 29 Sep 1928, 836

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, BROOMHILL PARK, NO. 6?
Date: 1928-1929
Nature: Builder: James Hogg & Son
Refs: IB 70, 29 Sep 1928, 836; 71, 26 Oct 1929, 946; Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 39,43(illus.)

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, HOLYWOOD ROAD, HEYN MEMORIAL HALL
Date: 1928-29
Nature: With Henry Seaver, for St Mark's CI church. Builder: F.B. McKee & Co.
Refs: Paul Larmour, Belfast: an illustrated architectural guide (1987), 82 (no. 189, illus.)

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DONEGALL SQUARE SOUTH, NO. 010 (YORKSHIRE HOUSE)
Date: 1929
Nature: Reconstruction and enlargement of Jaffé Building for Yorkshire Insurance Co. Conractor: F.B. McKee & Co., Shore Rd, Belfast.
Refs: IB 71, 27 Apr 1929, 378; Marcus Patton, Central Belfast: an historical gazetteer (UAHS, 1993), 120

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DONEGALL SQUARE SOUTH (& LINEN HALL STREET), PREMISES
Date: 1929
Nature: Adds.
Refs: IB 71, 19 Jan 1929, 62

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, CRANMORE PK, NO. 051 (INCHMARLO)
Date: 1929
Nature: Addition to preparatory school of Belfast Academical Institution. Builder: L. Houston & Sons, Belfast.
Refs: IB 71, 22 Jun,3 Aug 1929, 576,690; 73, 20 Jun,18 Jul 1931, 557 Paul Larmour, The Architectural Heritage of Malone & Stranmillis (UAHS, 1991), 130

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, RAVENHILL AVENUE, HOUSE
Date: 1929
Nature: Adds.
Refs: IB 71, 13 Apr 1929, 330

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, SALISBURY AVENUE, HOUSE
Date: 1930
Nature: -
Refs: IB 72, 1 Mar,5 Jul 1930, 200,604

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MERSEY STREET, ST CHRISTOPHER'S CHURCH (CI)
Date: 1931
Nature: With Henry Seaver.
Refs: Paul Larmour, Belfast: an illustrated architectural guide (1987), 86 (no. 200, illus.)

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, COLLEGE SQUARE EAST, ACADEMICAL INSTITUTION
Date: 1932
Nature: Adds.
Refs: IB 74, 2 Jul 1932, 614

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, PERCY STREET, FLOUR MILL (ISAAC ANDREWS & SON)
Date: 1933
Nature: Adds. Contrs: Workmans Ltd, Springfield Rd.
Refs: IB 73, 28 Jan,11 Feb 1933, 68,112

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, RAVENHILL ROAD, ST JUDE'S PAROCHIAL HALL
Date: 1933-34;1940
Nature: New hall in Co. Tyrone rustic brick. To accommodate 500-600. Cost: £5,600. Opened, Mar 1934. Awarded RIBA Ulster Medal, 1938. New porch, 1940.
Refs: Belfast Telegraph, 19 Mar 1934; IB 75, 11 Feb,15 Jul,26 Aug 1933, 112,585,734; 76, 24 Mar 1934, 233; 81, 11 Nov 1939, 921; 82, 16 Mar 1940, 178; Paul Larmour, Belfast: an illustrated architectural guide (1987), 89 (no. 206, illus.)

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, LISBURN ROAD, ULSTER INSTITUTE FOR EDUCATION OF DEAF, DUMB & BLIND
Date: 1934
Nature: Adds.
Refs: IB 76, 28 Jul 1934, 641

Building: CO. FERMANAGH, ENNISKILLEN, PORTORA ROYAL SCHOOL
Date: 1934-36
Nature: New preparatory school house (Gloucester House). Opened Spring, 1936. Contractor: Henry Pierce & Son, Enniskillen.
Refs: IB 76, 2 Jun,22 Sep 1934,480,818; 77, 24 Aug 1935, 773; 78, 4 Apr 1936, 299

Building: CO. ANTRIM, WHITEABBEY, BELFAST MUNICIPAL SANATORIUM
Date: 1934-36;1938-39
Nature: Wins competition, 1934, for alts. and new buildings, with John McGeagh.£183,000. Proposals for further adds. or new sanatorium on different site, 1938-39. Project unexecuted.
Refs: Architect & Building News 139, 31 Aug,7 Sep 1934, 233,276-8(illus.); AJ 80, 13 Sep 1934, 373; IB 76, 17 Nov 1934, 989; 77, 13 Jul,16,30 Nov 1935, 598,1065,1109,1112; 78, 18 Apr 1936, 318; 80, 25 Jun 1938, 524; 81, 7 Jan,22 Jul19 Aug,16 Sep 1939, 22,627,701,791.

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, BALLYSILLAN?, BOWLING PAVILION & HOSTEL
Date: 1935
Nature: Contractor: R.J. McNeill, Belfast.
Refs: IB 77, 24 Aug 1935, 757

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, UNIVERSITY ROAD, QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY, QUEEN'S ELMS STUDENTS' HOSTEL
Date: 1935-36
Nature: Conversion of 4 houses in old terrace into hostel for men. Contractor: William Dowling, Ltd, Cromwell Rd, Belfast.
Refs: IB 77, 14 Dec 1935, 1125; 78, 18 Apr,2 May 1936,339, 364

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MALONE ROAD UPR (NEW STREET OFF), HOUSE
Date: 1936
Nature: ?By RHG.
Refs: IB 78, 18 Apr 1936, 339

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, UNIVERSITY ROAD, QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY
Date: 1936
Nature: Adds. to drill hall.
Refs: IB 78, 17 Oct 1936, 948

Building: CO. DOWN, DOWNPATRICK, DOWN HIGH SCHOOL
Date: 1936-38
Nature: Alts. & adds.(assembly hall & laboratories).
Refs: IB 78, 17 Oct 1936, 948; 79, 4 Sep 1937, 797; 80, 19 Mar 1938, 241

Building: CO. DOWN, CLOUGH, SCHOOL
Date: 1938
Nature: -
Refs: IB 80, 19 Mar 1938, 241

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, ANTRIM ROAD, PREMISES
Date: 1938
Nature: Adds.
Refs: IB 80, 29 Oct 1938, 918

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, VICTORIA STREET, PREMISES
Date: 1938
Nature: Alts.
Refs: IB 80, 15 Oct 1938, 874

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, LINEN HALL STREET, NO. 005 (LANCASHIRE HOUSE)
Date: 1938-39
Nature: Linen warehouse demolished to make way for 6-storey office block for Yorkshire Insurance Co. designed by RHG.
Refs: IB 80, 19 Mar 1938, 223; 81, 18 Feb,11 Nov 1939, 153,921

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, SHORT STRAND, TROLLEYBUS DEPOT
Date: 1940;1949-50
Nature: With J.H. Stevenson; heating installation with E.D. Taylor, 1949, gate entrance and other works, 1950.
Refs: IB 82, 16 Mar 1940, 165; 91, 17 Sep 1949, 872; 92, 4 Feb 1950, 130

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DONEGALL SQUARE, CITY HALL
Date: 1941-42
Nature: Renovations, construction of temporary roof after air raid damage. With J.H. Stevenson. Contractor: James Moreland, Powerscourt St.
Refs: IB 83, 21 Jun,22 Nov 1941, 309,538; 84, 1 Aug 1942, 280

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, FINAGHY, HOUSES
Date: 1949ca
Nature: With E.D. Taylor.
Refs: Jones, citing ?RIBAJ 57 or JRIAI1949-50, 11

Building: CO. ANTRIM, WHITEABBEY, BELFAST MUNICIPAL SANATORIUM
Date: 1953-56
Nature: Operating theatre suite. With E.D. Taylor. Contr: Woodvale Building Works.
Refs: IB 95, 7 Nov 1953, 1164; 98, 16 Jun 1956, 559

Building: CO. DOWN, GLASTRY (KIRCUBBIN), INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL
Date: 1955-56
Nature: With E.D. Taylor, for Down County Education Committee.
Refs: IB 97, 1 Jun 1955, 36; 98, 25 Feb,11 Aug 1956, 175,741

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, CASTLEREAGH ROAD, CHURCH OF ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST (CI)
Date: 1955-7
Nature: New neo-Gothic church, with E.D.Taylor. Builder: F.B. McKee & Co., Belfast.
Refs: IB 99, 16 Nov 1957, 919; 100, 8 Jun 1958, 478; Paul Larmour, Belfast: an illustrated architectural guide (1987), 97 (sub no. 230)

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, LINEN HALL STREET, NO. 005 (LANCASHIRE HOUSE)
Date: 1956-59
Nature: 8-storey office block extension to Yorkshire House, Donegall Sq. With E.D. Taylor, for Yorkshire Assurance Co. Contractor: F.B. McKee Ltd, Blefast.
Refs: IB 99, 20 Apr 1957, 293,295; 101, 19 Sep,3 Oct 1959, 687,727(illus.); Paul Larmour, Belfast: an illustrated architectural guide (1987), 28 (sub no. 53); Marcus Patton, Central Belfast: an historical gazetteer (UAHS, 1993), 213-4

Building: CO. DOWN, DOWNPATRICK, DOWN HOSPITAL
Date: 1957
Nature: New outpatients' dept., with E.D. Taylor.
Refs: IB 99, 29 Jun 1957, 507

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, MILLFIELD, COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY
Date: 1957
Nature: With E.D. Taylor.
Refs: IB 99, 2 Nov 1957, 896

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, CORNMARKET, LEEDS BUILDING SOCIETY
Date: 1958
Nature: New, with E.D. Taylor.
Refs: IB 100, 1 Nov 1958, 803

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, ROSEMARY STREET, CENTRAL PRESBYTERIAN HALL
Date: 1958-59
Nature: With E.D. Taylor. Contractor: J. Buckley & Sons, Ltd., Belmont Rd, Belfast.
Refs: Design for proposed new hall, exh. RHA 1946 (no. 70); IB 100, 5 Apr 1958, 239; 101, 28 Nov 1959, 885; Marcus Patton, Central Belfast: an historical gazetteer (UAHS, 1993), 277

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DONEGALL SQUARE SOUTH, NO. 005
Date: 1959
Nature: Restoration of Georgian building as insurance company (?General Accident) office. By RHG and E.D. Taylor.
Refs: IB 101, 27 Jun 1959, 463

Building: CO. DOWN, REDBURN (HOLYWOOD), PRIMARY SCHOOL
Date: 1959;1964
Nature: With E.D. Taylor, for Down County Education Committee. Extension, 1964.
Refs: IB 101, 10 Jan,16 May 1959, 21,362; 106,4 Jul 1964, 533

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, NEWTOWNARDS ROAD UPPER, DUNDONALD HOUSE
Date: 1960-63
Nature: Government office building to house 3 ministries. With E.D. Taylor. Contractor: Higgs & Hill, London.
Refs: IB 102, 28 May 1960, 389; 105, 27 Apr,11 May 1963, 319,359(illus.)