John McAslan was born in Glasgow and educated at the University of Edinburgh. He trained in Boston USA with Cambridge Seven Associates before joining Richard Rogers and Partners in London, after which he established Troughton McAslan. He founded John McAslan + Partners in 1993 where he is Executive Chair and active in all of its work across studios in London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Sydney. John is particularly committed to interdisciplinary collaborations, which are a hallmark of the practice he leads.
John is highly engaged in education. In 2004, together with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Royal Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), he established the McAslan RIBA/ICE Bursary to support architectural and engineering students, graduates and newly-qualified architects and engineers committed to the progress of environmental and community issues in the UK or abroad. In addition, in his capacity as an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, in 2019 John established the AIA/McAslan Fellowship – a programme of annual travel bursaries for graduate architects from US universities.
John McAslan + Partners’ work has been widely published internationally. It has received over 200 international design awards, including 30 RIBA National and International awards, 3 European Union prizes for cultural heritage, and the Urban Land Institute (USA) Global Award for Excellence. Additionally, the practice was honoured with the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade in 2014, and again in 2022.
In 2012 John McAslan was appointed Commander of the British Empire by Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and also has served as Honorary Consul for the Republic of Haiti in London. In 2013 John was appointed Regent to the University of Edinburgh and the following year was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor honoris causa. In addition, John is a Fellow of numerous organisations: the Royal Institute of Architects in Scotland; the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors; the Royal Society of Arts; the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He is also an Academician of the Royal Scottish Academy and an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
In 1997 John established the John McAslan Family Trust (JMFT) with his wife Dava, which as a registered charity provides support for arts and educational projects in the UK and overseas. In 2017 JMFT saved the historic Burgh Hall in Dunoon and transformed it into a centre for contemporary arts in Scotland. John is also a founding trustee of the Foundation Viviane Gauthier in Haiti, a charitable organisation committed to the restoration and rehabilitation of the former home of the celebrated Haitian dancer and choreographer Viviane Gauthier in Port-au-Prince. The project is in the process of restoration having received a major grant from The Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), in a gift from the US Department of State.
Finally, beyond architecture and his philanthropic activities, John is engaged in film through the annual film festival he established in Dunoon in 2012, while his film company, Wee Cock Sparra, has produced a number of award-winning short films that have premiered at over 15 international film festivals.