About Gillespie Kidd and Coia

Gillespie Kidd and Coia where a Scottish Architectural company based in Glasgow operating from 1927 until 1987.  However the roots of the practice reach back to 1891. William Kidd joined Salmon & Son in 1898 as an Apprentice becoming Chief Draughtsman in 1911 . John Gaff Gillespie had joined James Salmon & Son in 1891. The firm became Salmon Son & Gillespie in 1903.  James Salmon left the practice in 1913.   Jack Coia joined the firm in 1915.  Gillespie died in 1926 leaving Kidd as the sole partner.  This continued until 1928 when Kidd died and Coia inherited the practice.

Coia took a teaching position at the Glasgow School of Art. Glasgow School of Art (GSA).  At this time Coia secured the practice’s first commission for a new Roman Catholic Church.  Up until the outbreak of the war Coia completed drawings for Knightswood Secondary School as well as Municipal Buildings in Stirling, neither of these were built.   When Italy entered World War II, Coia lost control of the business.

Gillespie, Kidd & Coia was revived in 1945.  With 18 year old Isi Metzstein as an apprentice, and continued to design churches and other works for the Roman Catholic Church.  In 1954 Andy MacMillan, a contemporary of Metzstein at the GSA, joined the firm from East Kilbride Development Corporation.   Coia’s last significant architectural work was for St Charles in 1959.

The first full Metzstein and MacMillan design was St Paul’s in Glenrothes. Coia took a step back from design but continued to push the practice through lecturing and through his roles as a prominent member of the Catenian Society of Catholic professionals, as a governor of the GSA, and as president of the Glasgow Institute of Architects He was made a CBE  in 1967, and received the RIBA Gold Medal in 1969.

Work was drawing to a close in the 70’s and with Coia’s death in 1981, the practice only lasted until the last piece of work in 1987 before closing.


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