John McAslan was born in Glasgow and educated at the University of Edinburgh, obtaining an MA in Architecture in 1977 and Diploma in 1978, along with the Diploma year prize. He trained in Boston USA with Cambridge Seven Associates before joining Richard Rogers and Partners in 1980. He co-founded Troughton McAslan in 1984 and John McAslan + Partners in 1993.
John McAslan is Executive Chairman of the practice and is active in all of its work across studios in London, Edinburgh and Sydney. John is particularly committed to the interdisciplinary collaboration of all construction consultants on a given project – a specific hallmark of the practice he leads.
John is highly committed to education. In 2004, together with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Royal Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), he established a bursary that aims 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. The RIBA McAslan Bursary provides recognition to innovative design projects and supports the energy, talent and creativity of emerging architects and engineers.
In addition, in his capacity as an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, John recently established the AIA/McAslan Fellowship – a three-year programme of travel bursaries for graduate architects from US universities.
John McAslan + Partners’ work has been widely published internationally in professional journals, newspapers and in the form of monographs. The practice has received in excess of 170 design awards, including 29 RIBA National and International awards, three European Union prizes for cultural heritage, and an Urban Land Institute (USA) Global Award for Excellence. The practice was named World Architect of the Year in 2009 and in 2014 was honoured with the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.
In 2012 John McAslan was appointed Commander of the British Empire by Her Majesty the Queen and also served in 2012–13 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 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 at the Royal Scottish Academy and an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
In 1997 John established the John McAslan Family Trust, which as a registered charity provides support for arts and educational projects in the UK and overseas. John’s philanthropic activities include JMP’s outreach projects in the UK and abroad, and in particular establishing the Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust, which has recently delivered the Hall’s restoration as 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 recently received a major grant from The Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), in a gift from the US Department of State.
Beyond architecture and his philanthropic activities, John McAslan 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.