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||| C Malcolm Dobson, Project Designer |||
|Glazing designer Malcolm Dobson, formerly of Heywood Williams of Huddersfield.
Born 1941 Horsforth. Educated at Uppingham, Rutland until aged 16. Studied art and design at Harrogate Art School, with
particular interest in Architecture and Heraldry.
Salford Art and Design College, studying engineering and industrial design finally graduating with a Dip AD (Salf).
Les Ratcliff interviewed him and took him on at Heywood Helliwell in 1965. Huddersfield Market Hall was an early project and
presented a design challenge but as a cocky young upstart to industry he said "Oh yes! we'll find a solution!". "It was
the most extraordinary challenge I have had within this industry - certainly a unique concept".
After 7 years moved onto Boulton & Paul in Norwich. In 1974, Les Ratcliff asked him to join the design team at Archital
Luxfer in Portsmouth. After 15 years in the south, was offered the position of technical director to work within the
Alcan Group at Viking Architectural Systems in Leeds. This was to be a major change within the industry for myself from
designing and developing products exclusive to a specific company to do the same work for a supplier nationwide servicing
many UK and Eire outlets. Returned north where he helped to position the company to the forefront of the suppliers
market. Now trading with the well established French company name of Technal, the Company is registered as Hydro Building
"During the last 30 years or so my extra curricular activities have been widespread in and around the various trade
organisations; Principally these include BSI groups, Council for Aluminium in Building (formerly the Aluminium Window
Association), Centre for Window and Cladding Technology, Building Research Establishment and the Glass and Glazing
"Over all this time, nothing is really as outstanding in my memories as this Market Hall project. Yes, I've designed
and developed many interesting glazing installations - some which structural engineers said wouldn't work - but tests
proved that they did! Their response has been "Well, I can prove that it wont work! but I cannot prove that it will!!"
One of these was Lloyds Bank in Bristol. Another "hair raising" challenge has been the developments for VW and Audi car
showrooms where I established a design principle where no mullions were used for glazing purposes, only transoms, and
the facades are not only on the incline but have vertical return glazed walls! The" piece de resistance" is the Glasgow
Audi dealership, where the facade is some 10 metres high with the glazing "folding back" to form a part of the roof.
Some of the glass panels weighed in at 250 - 300kg. An especially interesting and challenging project was the Doncaster
Earth Centre where I designed an aluminum grid system to support the photo voltaic panels and conceal the thousands of
metres of attendant cabling. The roofing system was supported on a lattice of oak framing parabaloid structure not
unlike the Market Hall."