“This Is Not a Success Story”

Florence Fulton Hobson, Architect in Northern Ireland

Authored by: Tanja Poppelreuter

The Routledge Companion to Women in Architecture

Print publication date:  June  2021
Online publication date:  June  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367232344
eBook ISBN: 9780429278891
Adobe ISBN:


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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.

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