George Aitchison (English, 1825–1910), architect, designer, professor, lecturer, and writer, joined his father’s architecture practice as a partner in 1859, becoming head of the firm two years later upon his father’s death. In his work spanning more than fifty years, he sought to achieve the highest standards of interior design, and to this end he often collaborated with other artists on projects. Notable Aitchison works include the hall of the Founders Company, the boardroom for the Thames Conservancy, and offices for the Royal Exchange Insurance Company. Most significant of his projects, however, is Leighton House, Kensington, designed for his friend, artist Frederic Leighton. Construction on the house began in 1865 and would continue for thirty years. The stunning Arab Hall was added in 1877 to display the hundreds of glazed tiles Leighton had collected during his visits to North Africa and the Middle East. Leighton House has been a museum since 1900.
Aitchison was Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy from 1887 to 1905, and was closely associated with the Royal Institute of British Architects, where he held a number of positions before being named President, a post he held from 1896 to 1899. In 1898 Aitchison was awarded the Royal Gold Medal.