© All rights reserved. RIAS Quarterly no47 Autumn 1934 

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: (Dr) Frederic ('Eric') Robert Stevenson
Designation: Architect
Born: 19 March 1914
Died: 25 May 1993
Bio Notes: Frederic Robert Stevenson (sometimes known as 'Eric') was born on 19 March 1914, the son of William Robert Stevenson, priest, and his wife Ingeborg Bartolsen. He attended day classes at Edinburgh College of Art from October 1931. He spent a year working in H M Office of Works, Edinburgh under J Wilson Paterson from August 1935, but resumed his diploma course thereafter, obtaining the diploma in June 1937. He was admitted ARIBA on 10 January 1938, his proposers being Reginald Francis Joseph Fairlie, Frank Charles Mears and James Alexander Arnott. His nomination papers give no business address but indicate that he was living at 39 East Claremont Street, Edinburgh at that time. They also state that he had undertaken five study tours ranging from four weeks to three months and encompassing Scotland, England, France and Denmark, including one as RIBA Pugin Student in 1935. He was also Neale Bursar in 1938. His declaration accepting his RIBA admittance was witnessed by fellow architect Eric Hutton Crosbee.

In 1945 he was engaged in intelligence work in Sweden.

By 1950 Stevenson was a Knight of the Order of Dannebrog (Denmark). At that time he had a salaried post in the Department of Health for Scotland, St Andrews House, Edinburgh. He later obtained a PhD.

Stevenson was appointed Director of the University of Edinburgh's Housing Research Unit by Professor Robert H. Matthew in 1959 after leaving the Department of Health for Scotland, where he had worked as a senior Regional Planning Officer since 1953, and as Deputy Chief Architect and Planning Officer since 1956. He left the HRU in 1961 and began teaching Architectural History at the University. He was a great authority on Scandinavian modernism.

Stevenson died aged 79 at his home in North Berwick on 25 May 1993. His wife Margrete Hoffmeyer, daughter of the Danish Lutheran Bishop Skat Hoffmeyer of Aarhus, survived him. Their son Kenneth William Stevenson, born on 9 November 1949, had married at the age of 21 and had three daughters and one son. After an education at Edinburgh Academy and studies at the universities of Edinburgh and Southampton, he had followed a religious vocation, serving as chaplain of Manchester University before becoming vicar of Holy Trinity, Guildford in 1986. He was still there at the time of his father's death, but would later become Bishop of Portsmouth, and was an important theological scholar.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4Monks Orchard, Preston Road, East Linton, East Lothian, ScotlandPrivate 1993 
Item 2 of 439, East Claremont Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1938 *  
Item 3 of 4Preston Cottages, East Linton, East Lothian, ScotlandPrivate1954 *  
Item 4 of 41, Doune Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1964After 1980 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 5H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)August 1935August 1936AssistantIn Edinburgh office, working under J Wilson Paterson
Item 2 of 5John Wilson PatersonAugust 1935August 1936AssistantIn H M Office of Works, Edinburgh
Item 3 of 5Department of Health for Scotland (Scottish Board of Health; later Scottish Development Department)Before 1950 * ArchitectDeputy Chief Architect upon his leaving in 10/1959 to join the University of Edinburgh Housing Research Unit per Builder 26 Feb 1960 p411
Item 4 of 5Edinburgh University Housing Research Unit (HRU) / Architecture Research Unit (ARU)October 1959Late 1961Directorappointed Director by Robert Matthew
Item 5 of 5Stevenson & DunworthBefore 1962 Partner 

* earliest date known from documented sources.


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3James Alexander Arnott10 January 1938for Associateship
Item 2 of 3Reginald Francis Joseph Fairlie10 January 1938for Associateship
Item 3 of 3(Sir) Frank Charles Mears10 January 1938for Associateship

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 51962St Donnan's Episcopal ChurchNostie Ross and Cromarty Altar with carved angels also by Stevenson.
Item 2 of 5c. 1963Motel, InvereweInverewe Ross & CromartyScotland 
Item 3 of 51965St Hilda's Episcopal Church  EdinburghScotland 
Item 4 of 51974St John's Episcopal ChurchForfar AngusScotlandPartitioning off of west aisle in 3 south bays to form vestry accommodation and formation of Lady Chapel at N end
Item 5 of 51976Baxter Incorporation Granary  EdinburghScotlandConversion into flats


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3Glendinning, Miles2008Modern architect: the life and times of Robert Matthew RIBA Publishingpp76,158,228,230-31
Item 2 of 3Municipal Annual1964Scottish Municipal Annual1964-1965  
Item 3 of 3RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Builder26 February 1960  'Edinburgh University Housing Research Unit: Appointments to Staff Announced' p411
Item 2 of 3Builder5 August 1960  'Civic Design: A New Diploma Course at Edinburgh' p228
Item 3 of 3The Times14 January 2011  p.60: obituary of Frederic Stevenson's son, the Right Reverend Kenneth Stevenson

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 4H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 4Information sent to Yvonne HillyardRecollections of David M Walker  
Item 3 of 4RIAS, Rutland SquareRecords of membership  
Item 4 of 4RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no6633 (combined box 151)


© All rights reserved. RIAS Quarterly no47 Autumn 1934 

© All rights reserved. RIAS Quarterly no47 Autumn 1934