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Percy Edwin Alan Johnson-Marshall


1915 - 1993

Town planner, architect and academic. Born in Ajmer, India, the younger brother of Stirrat Johnson-Marshall (1912-81), the family came to England in the 1920s. Johnson-Marshall followed his brother to study architecture at the University of Liverpool in 1931. He took positions with Middlesex County Council (1936), Willesden Borough Council (1936-38) and then Coventry City Council (1938-41), where plans for a new town centre were being made even before the blitz of 1940. Following military service in Burma and India, he entered the Ministry of Town & Country Planning (1946-48) and then London County Council (1949-59).

In 1959, he successfully applied for a lectureship at the newly-created Department of Architecture at the University of Edinburgh, under Sir Robert Matthew (1906-75), and went on to serve as Professor of Urban Design and Regional Planning (1964 - 1985). He was then briefly Director of the Patrick Geddes Centre for Planning Studies.

Launched in 1962 as planning consultants for the University, Percy Johnson-Marshall and Associates produced urban master-plans for cities such as Islamabad, Porto and Sao Paulo, together with redevelopment schemes for areas of Edinburgh, Kilmarnock and Salford. The firm continues as jmarchitects, now employing nearly 150 people in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, London and in the United Arab Emirates.

Elected as a member of both the Royal Institute of British Architects (1938) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (1947), he served on the councils of both organisations. He was appointed to the World Health Organisation's expert panel on Environmental Health and Planning (1970) and was created a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (CMG) in 1975.

An obsessive collector of materials associated with planning, Edinburgh University Library have undertaken a research project to catalogue and organise his collection.


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