Basic Biographical Details

Name: Louis David Blanc
Designation: Architect
Born: 16 February 1877
Died: 8 May 1944
Bio Notes: Nephew of the eminent Edinburgh architect, Hippolyte Jean Blanc, Louis David Blanc was born on 16 February 1877. He was a pupil of his uncle's from May 1893 to October 1898, working with him on the Coats Memorial Church in Paisley and St Cuthbert's Church in Edinburgh, and studied at Edinburgh School of Art and Heriot-Watt Technical College. During the final year of his apprenticeship he made a three-month study tour of ancient buildings in England and Scotland. He subsequently moved to London where he continued his studies, attending classes for four years at the Architectural Association, for one year at Regent Street Polytechnic and for one year at Chelsea Polytechnic. Throughout this time he made a series of sketching and measuring tours of England and Scotland, including one of three months' duration in 1898. His arrival in London in that year coincided with his commencement as an assistant to Charles John Ferguson. In 1900 he moved to the office of Messrs Crickmay & Sons, where he spent two years before being taken on as a member of staff at the War Office. He left there to join the LCC Architects Department in late 1903, where he worked under William Edward Riley.

Between 1906 and 1911, Louis Blanc lectured on Building Construction for Surrey County Council, and was Instructor in Architectural Design and Drawing and Lecturer in History of Architecture at Putney and Camberwell Schools of Art. He also later taught at Westminster Technical Institute. He was elected LRIBA in 1911, his proposers being Hippolyte Jean Blanc and William Richard Lethaby. At that time he was still at the LCC. He commenced independent practice in London in 1920 and specialised in department stores, acting as house architect to Harrods towards the end of the decade and writing a number of articles for technical journals on store design and building regulations. In all he taught evening classes for twenty-two years. He was an active member of the RIBA, being honorary secretary of its Building Acts Committee, a member of the Practice Committee, and representing the Institute at the formation of the Building Industries National Council.

In 1937 Blanc visited South Africa. He gave several talks to the Cape Provinical Institute of Architects, one of which was printed in the 'Architect, Builder & Engineer' (June 1937) and was entitled 'A British Architect looks at South Africa'. He is reputed to have made various controversial remarks during his stay in South Africa. He also designed Stuttaford's main store in Cape Town.

He was elected FRIBA on 5 December 1938, his proposers being chief LCC architect Edwin Paul Wheeler, Leo Sylvester Sullivan and Sidney Tatchell.

Blanc died on 8 May 1944, his death being registered in Croydon.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 410, Bushwood Road, Kew, London, EnglandPrivate1911 *  
Item 2 of 432-24, Haus Crescent, London, EnglandBusiness1935 *  
Item 3 of 410, New Burlington Street, London, EnglandBusiness1938 *  
Item 4 of 423b, North Hill, Highgate, London, EnglandPrivate1938 *  

* 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 6Hippolyte Jean BlancMay 1893October 1898Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6Charles John FergusonOctober 1898c. April 1900Assistant 
Item 3 of 6Crickmay & Sonsc. April 1900c. April 1902Assistant 
Item 4 of 6War Office Architects Departmentc. April 1902c. October 1903Assistant 
Item 5 of 6London County Council Architects' Department (LCC Architects' Department)c. October 1903After March 1911Assistantunder supervision of William Edward Riley
Item 6 of 6William Edward Rileyc. October 1903After March 1911AssistantIn LCC Architects' Department

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1Leslie Hugh Wilson (known as Hugh Wilson)May 1933August 1935Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 5Hippolyte Jean Blanc20 March 1911for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 5William Richard Lethaby20 March 1911for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 5Leo Sylvester Sullivan5 December 1938for Fellowship
Item 4 of 5Sydney Joseph Tatchell5 December 1938for Fellowship
Item 5 of 5Edwin Paul Wheeler5 December 1938for Fellowship

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 101892St Cuthbert's Parish Church  EdinburghScotlandImprovements/rebuilding - as assistant to Hippolyte Jean Blanc
Item 2 of 101893Coats Memorial Baptist ChurchPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAs apprentice to Hippolyte Jean Blanc
Item 3 of 101902 or 1903Officers' Quarters, Barracks and/or HospitalSalisbury WiltshireEnglandas assistant in War Office
Item 4 of 101902 or 1903Officers' Quarters, Barracks and/or Hospital   Maltaas assistant in War Office
Item 5 of 101902 or 1903Officers' Quarters, Barracks and/or Hospital  GibraltarSpainas assistant in War Office
Item 6 of 101920s(?)D H Evans store  LondonEngland 
Item 7 of 10After 1920Swan & Edgar department store  LondonEnglandRebuilding - in collaboration with John James Joass
Item 8 of 101929HarrodsKnightsbridge LondonEnglandRebuilding, additions and Basil Street frontage
Item 9 of 101938(?)Kendal Milne & Company Premises  ManchesterEnglandWith 'Mr Beaumont'
Item 10 of 101938Stuttaford's store  Cape TownSouth Africa 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3Who's Who in Architecture1923    
Item 2 of 3Who's Who in Architecture1926    
Item 3 of Website of artefacts, for the recording of South African buildingsAccessed September 2011.

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Architect Builder & EngineerJune 1937  pp12-14
Item 2 of 2BuilderJuly 19445:6 p77 Obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2England and WalesBirths, marriages and deaths  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v13 no 881; F no3502 (box 24)