‘This is not a success story’ : Florence Fulton Hobson, architect in Northern Ireland

Poppelreuter, T ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0202-3113 2021, '‘This is not a success story’ : Florence Fulton Hobson, architect in Northern Ireland' , in: The Routledge companion to women in architecture , Routledge, London, pp. 83-94.

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Access Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in The Routledge Companion to Women in Architecture on 29th June 2021, available online: http://www.routledge.com/9780367232344


Florence Fulton Hobson (1881–1978) was the third women architect to be licensed by the RIBA and the first professional women architect in Ireland. Fulton Hobson attended the School of Art in Belfast, was an apprentice in the Belfast practice of James John Phillips and James St. John Phillips, and worked for Edward Guy Dawber and James Glen Sivewright Gibson in London. After returning to Belfast she worked for the Belfast Corporation as an assistant to the Royal Commission on Health and Housing. In her 1911 article “Architecture as a Profession” she reflected on the ways in which she negotiated her role as the only women in an all-male profession. The text analyzed and wittily rebuffed arguments a woman might encounter when embarking to study and practice architecture. Her autobiography, which was probably written in the early 1970s, begins, on the other hand, with the words, “This is not a success story” and therefore seems to indicate that she had higher hopes for the development of her career. This chapter retraces this career and contextualizes it with the socioeconomic and political context during which Fulton Hobson’s career unfolded. The First World War, the Easter Rising and civil war impacted on the building industry. Still, she was able to build, refurbish, and restore not only for her family and family friends but also for the Irish White Cross and for the Belfast Corporation. The investigation of Fulton Hobson’s career uncovers a multifaceted career and ability to find ways to practice architecture that did not result in a successful career according to traditional parameters but that bespeaks of resilience and the ability to adapt to the vagaries of early twentieth-century politics and the difficulties that professional women encountered in practice.

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Sokolina, A
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9780367232344 (hardback); 9780429278891 (ebook)
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Tanja Poppelreuter
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2021 09:11
Last Modified: 29 Dec 2022 02:30
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/60905

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