Raymond McGrath

Raymond McGrath

Raymond McGrath (7 March 1903 – 23 December 1977) was a British Australian architect and interior designer.

Born in Sydney in 1903 he studied English and architecture at Sydney University graduating in 1926. He then moved to England to take up a fellowship at Clare College, Cambridge, during which Mansfield Forbes had McGrath redecorate the interior of the College's house Finella, a large Victorian house on the backs in Cambridge now belonging to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. McGrath's bold modernist remodelling of Finella made adventurous use of materials, with copper clad doors, an aluminium walled bathroom, mirrored ceilings and a rubberised floor decorated with Pictish motifs.

Setting up practice in London in 1930, McGrath's first commission was to design the interiors for Broadcasting House in Portland Place, London. To assist with such a large commission, McGrath solicited the help of Wells Coates and Serge Chermayeff, who was passing through London before emigrating to America.

Further interior design jobs followed, including a design for the aeroplane interiors for Imperial Airways.

McGrath was particularly interested in the architectural and decorative use of glass, writing several articles for the "Architectural Review" in the 1930s and in 1937 publishing the highly influential book "Glass in Architectue and Decoration". Some of his 1934 etched glass doors can still be seen at RIBA's headquarters in Portland Place, London.

McGrath's personal major building project, was the modernist circular Hill House at St Ann's Court, Chertsey in 1936. The house was built for the landscape architect Christopher Tunnard.

In 1940 McGrath moved to Dublin to take up a job with the Office of Public Works where he stayed for the rest of his life, becoming their Principal Architect with time. For many years starting in 1946, McGrath championed and worked on the design for a National Concert Hall for Ireland which was to be built at Raheny. However the project was always dogged by political complications and was eventually cancelled in 1973. McGrath died in Dublin a few years later in 1977.


*"Glass in Architectue and Decoration" (1937), Raymond McGrath, Albert Childerstone Frost and Harold Edward Beckett, Architectural Press, London.


*The Grove Dictionary of Art at [http://www.artnet.com/library/05/0528/T052804.asp Artnet]
* [http://www.archmedia.com.au/aa/aaissue.php?issueid=200005&article=10&typeon=2 Architecture Australia article]

External links

* [http://www.arcaid.captureweb.co.uk/mtest3/JobDetails4.asp?JobNo=9757 Arcaid photographs] of the Hill House, Chertsey.

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