Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||Alex Cullen, Lochhead & Brown |
|Designation: ||Architectural practice |
|Started: ||1908 |
|Ended: ||January 1911 |
|Bio Notes: ||Alexander Cullen was born on 18 June 1856 at Craigneuk, Wishaw, the son of William Cullen and his wife Mary Hill. Initially he was apprenticed to a builder, but he then attended Glasgow University and set up practice in Clyde Street, Motherwell in the early 1880s. |
In 1889 Colonel H H Robertson Aikman commissioned him to reconstruct The Ross at Hamilton as a major house in the David Bryce manner: it was exhibited at the RSA and the RGI and was widely published, establishing his reputation. An office in Quarry Street, Hamilton was established to build it and undertake other work in the Hamilton area, Cullen having become architect to the standing joint committee of the County of Lanarkshire.
Cullen was admitted FRIBA in November 1898 on the recommendation of the Glasgow Institute of Architects: his proposers are not known as the relevant sheet is missing. By that date he had already been admitted FRSE, a very unusual distinction for a provincial architect.
In 1898-99 Cullen designed Brandon Chambers, Hamilton as his main office and Motherwell became a branch office. His practice prospered and by 24 June 1902 the business was so extensive with many commissions both public and private in the counties of Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire that he took into partnership his chief and senior assistants James Lochhead and William Brown.
Of the partners, Lochhead had been born in 1870 in Johnstone, the son of J Lochhead, a furniture dealer in Hope Street, Ayr, and had been educated at Ayr Grammar School and subsequently Ayr Academy. He had served his articles with Allan Stevenson of Ayr from 1884, remaining as an assistant until 1891. He had then moved to become chief draughtsman in the practice of Henry Higgins of Glasgow, attending classes at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College where he had received the Bronze Medal in Building Construction in 1892 and had been a Queen's Prizeman in Architecture and Architectural Design in 1893. In the latter year he had entered the Office of Public Works in Glasgow whilst continuing his studies, and in 1894-98 he had acted as assistant lecturer to Professor Gourlay in the Architectural Classes at the College. He had passed the qualifying exam to become ARIBA on 11 June 1894, his proposers being John Honeyman, Campbell Douglas and Thomas Lennox Watson. He had joined Cullen's practice as chief draughtsman and prospective partner in 1898.
William Brown had been born in 1873 and had been articled to Cullen in 1888, attending technical and art classes at Hamilton Academy from 1889 to 1894, and had remained as assistant after completing his apprenticeship. After being taken into partnership, Brown was put in charge of the Motherwell office of Cullen's firm at 4 Clyde Street.
After Lochhead's arrival the work of the practice became extremely accomplished Edwardian Baroque and classical. Initially the practice name remained as Alex Cullen; it won the major competition for Hamilton Municipal Buildings in 1903, and a Glasgow office was established at Atlantic Chambers in Hope Street to supervise the Western District Hospital, a by-product of the competition for the Eastern District Hospital in which Cullen and Lochhead had been placed first but did not receive the commission. From 1908 onwards the practice was known as Alex Cullen, Lochhead & Brown.
Cullen had wide interests and was well read in architectural history as well as contemporary architecture and this is reflected in the varied nature of the practice's large library. In 1907 he gifted a proportion of this library to Hamilton District Libraries. Although these books have now been dispersed, the catalogue shows that in addition to the publications of Pugin, Scott, Fergusson, the Audsleys, Starforth and G A T Middleton, Cullen subscribed to 'The American Architect' and bought books on Japanese and Mexican architecture; and among his continental books was a copy of Guimard's 'Le Castel Beranger'. Cullen himself was the author of many articles on a variety of subjects and his book 'Adventures in Socialism', a history of New Lanark, was published in 1910. He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and at the time of his death he was President of the Architectural Section of the Glasgow Philosophical Society.
Lochhead was active in public life. In 1896 he became the first President of the Royal Technical College (Glasgow) Craftsman's Society; he also served as President of Hamilton Arts & Crafts Society for two years, and was President of the Glasgow Architectural Association from 1906 to 1907. He wrote many articles and delivered numerous papers to these societies as well as to the Edinburgh Architectural Association, Glasgow Philosophical Society, Glasgow Scientific Society and Ayr Sketch Club.
Cullen died at the relatively early age of 54 on 21 January 1911 and was buried at Bent Cemetery, Hamilton. His moveable estate amounted to £9,238 11s 2d, a very large sum for an architect at that date. He was survived by his widow, Barbara Rodger, and by three sons and two daughters. His youngest son, Alexander (born 1892), was one year into his articles with the firm at the time. Lochhead and Brown continued the practice thereafter, dropping Cullen's forename from the practice title which then became simply Cullen, Lochhead & Brown.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|4, Clyde Street, Motherwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland||Business|| || || |
|Atlantic Chambers, Glasgow, Scotland||Business|| || || |
|Brandon Chambers, Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland||Business||1911 *|| || |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
Employees or Pupils
Buildings and Designs
|This architectural practice was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):|
| ||Date started||Building name||Town, district or village||Island||City or county||Country||Notes|
| ||Bellshill Fire Station||Bellshill|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland||Attribution; date unknown|
| ||Craigneuk Police Station||Craigneuk|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland||Attribution; date unknown|
| ||Greenfield School||Hamilton|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland||Attribution; date unknown|
| ||Lanark Fire Station||Lanark|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland||Attribution; date unknown|
| ||Merry Street School||Motherwell|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland||Attribution; date unknown|
| ||Motherwell Police Station||Motherwell|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland||Attribution; date unknown|
| ||Shettleston Fire Station||Shettleston|| ||Glasgow||Scotland||Attribution; date unknown|
| ||Shettleston Police Station||Shettleston|| ||Glasgow||Scotland||Attribution; date unknown|
|1898||Beckford Street School||Hamilton|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland||Plans for alterations; plans for new cookery classroom and additions to infant department|
|1903||Electric Theatre||Falkirk|| ||Stirlingshire||Scotland|| |
|1908||Academy School||Hamilton|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland||Proposed alterations and additions|
|1908||Blantyre Police Station||Blantyre|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland|| |
|1908||Hamilton Municipal Buildings and Public Library||Hamilton|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland||Continued job after competition win in 1903, before practice title changed (municipal offices only built before First World War)|
|1908||Langloan UF Church||Coatbridge|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland|| |
|1908||Masonic Temple||Hamilton|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland||Secured commission in competition|
|1908||Primitive Methodist Church||Hamilton|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland|| |
|1908||Quarter Police Station||Quarter|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland|| |
|1908||Salvation Army Citadel||Hamilton|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland|| |
|1908||Tarbert UF Church||Tarbert|| ||Argyll||Scotland|| |
|1909||Blackpool Central Library and Art Gallery||Blackpool|| ||Lancashire||England||Won in open competition|
|1909||Burgh Hospital||Motherwell|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland|| |
|1909||Chapeltoun||Dunlop|| ||Ayrshire||Scotland|| |
|1909||Duthill UF Church||Carrbridge|| ||Inverness-shire||Scotland|| |
|1909||East Kilbride Public School||East Kilbride|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland||Additions|
|1909||Gourock Higher Grade School||Gourock|| ||Renfrewshire||Scotland|| |
|1909||Hamilton Academy (and house at school)||Hamilton|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland||Won competition and secured the job.|
|1909||House at Bothwell||Bothwell|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland|| |
|1909||Low Waters Infant School||Hamilton|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland|| |
|1909||Tenements for Caledonian Railway Company|| || ||Glasgow||Scotland||Bar to north|
|1910||Cambuslang Police Station||Cambuslang|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland|| |
|1910||Club House, Hamilton Golf Club||Hamilton|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland|| |
|1910||Co-operative Society premises||Wishaw|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland||Extensions|
|1910||Donald Institute||Bothwell|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland||Secured commission by competition|
|1910||House at Knowetop||Motherwell|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland|| |
|1910||Saffronhall UF Church||Hamilton|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland||Extension|
|1910||South Dalziel Parish Church Halls||Motherwell|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland|| |
|1911||Bluevale School||Haghill|| ||Glasgow||Scotland|| |
|1911||UF Church||Motherwell|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland|| |
|1911||West Highland Cottage Hospital||Oban|| ||Argyll||Scotland||Extensions - new operating theatre, laundry etc|
|Before 1911(?)||Co-operative Society premises||Hamilton|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland||Extensions (date uncertain: Alex Cullen, Lochhead & Brown if before 1911, but Cullen, Lochhead & Brown if between 1911 and 1914)|
|Before 1911(?)||County of Lanark Sanatorium||Stonehouse|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland||Extensions? - probably including 20 additional beds and additions to administration block (date uncertain: Alex Cullen, Lochhead & Brown if before 1911, but Cullen, Lochhead & Brown if between 1911 and 1914)|
|Before 1911(?)||Shotts Fever Hospital||Shotts|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland||Extension. Further extensions later - 16 beds with addition to administration block (date uncertain: Alex Cullen, Lochhead & Brown if before 1911, but Cullen, Lochhead & Brown if between 1911 and 1914)|
|1930||70 houses||Hamilton|| ||Lanarkshire||Scotland|| |
|The following books contain references to this architectural practice:|
|Bailey, Rebecca M||1996||Scottish architects' papers: a source book|| ||Edinburgh: The Rutland Press|| |
|Walker, Frank Arneil||1986||South Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide to Inverclyde and Renfrew|| || ||p140|
|The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Glasgow Herald||23 January 1911|| || ||Obituary of Alexander Cullen|
|Hamilton Advertiser||28 January 1911|| || ||Obituary of Alexander Cullen|
|Lanarkshire [Newspaper] Check||25 January 1911|| || ||Obituary of Alexander Cullen|
|The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|Cullen Lochhead & Brown Architects||Cullen Lochhead and Brown Archive|| || |
|RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum||RIBA Nomination Papers|| ||F v13 p13 (microfiche 117/E5) (Cullen's paper)|