1946 - Patrick Abercrombie (1879-1957)


Designer: Abercrombie, Sir Patrick (1879-1957); Forshaw, J. H.
Copyright: Sir Patrick Abercrombie/RIBA British Architectural Library Photographs Collection (1945)

Patrick Abercrombie trained in both architecture and town planning, but chose to pursue a career in the latter.


His first town planning was that of Dublin, which he won in an international competition in 1913 (with Sydney A Kelly).

He also prepared post-war planning schemes for Stratford-on-Avon, Doncaster, Edinburgh, Plymouth, Hull, Warwick, Bournemouth and London. His work on the preparation of the London Plan (in association with JH Forshaw) was what primarily contributed to his knighthood (awarded in 1945), and his nomination to the Royal Gold Medal in 1946.


As well as town planning, Abercrombie chose to teach and became Professor of Civic Design at the University of Liverpool (1915-33) followed by Professor of Town Planning at University College London (1935-46).


Awarded the Royal Gold Medal 'for his work in the preparation of the London Plan in association with JH Forshaw'.
Abercrombie always retained an interest in architecture, working on designs for the new University of Ceylon (with A C Holliday) and completed reports for the Colonial Office on Hong King and Cyprus.


The ceremony at which Abercrombie’s medal was presented was unusual, as five medalists received their medals at an unprecedented occasion. The circumstances of World War II had made it impossible to hold formal presentations (although announcements of the annual winner were made in the RIBA Journal), and by April 1946 (the year that Abercrombie won the medal), the RIBA was not ready to hold a ceremony. Thus Abercrombie received his medal alongside William Curtis Green (medallist in 1942), Charles Herbert Reilly (medallist in 1943), Edward Maufe (medallist in 1944) and Albert Edward Richardson (medallist in 1947) at a ceremony in April 1947.