Basic Biographical Details

Name: Dunn, Watson & Curtis Green
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1912
Ended: 1916
Bio Notes: William Dunn was born in 1859 and articled to Duncan McNaughtan, Glasgow, in 1876. Around 1881 he secured a place in the office of William Flockhart, followed by a spell with James Marjoribanks MacLaren and another with Thomas Chatfield Clark, and apparently passed the qualifying exam in 1886 although precise record is missing. He commenced independent practice in London in 1889. In his youth he was bandy-legged: as soon as he could afford it he had his legs surgically broken and straightened.

The partnership with Robert Watson had its origin in James Marjoribanks MacLaren's death in October 1890. Dunn had assisted MacLaren on a fee-paid basis when ill, and MacLaren's brother-in-law Dugald Sutherland MacColl had to find financial provision for his widow and children. A meeting was arranged with Sir Donald Currie, MacLaren's most important client and a guarantee of his continuing support secured a partnership agreement that made provision for them. Initially the practice operated from 35 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London. By temperament Dunn was a mathematician and structural engineer rather than an architect, with a particular flair for design in concrete; the decorative aspects of the partnership's work fell more to Watson.

Watson was born in 1865 and was articled to Robert Paterson and Son in Edinburgh in October 1881. From there he progressed to the offices of Hippolyte Blanc (1884-February 1887) and Robert Rowand Anderson and then to James Marjoribanks MacLaren in London, passing the qualifying exam in 1887 and being admitted ARIBA on 11 June 1888, his proposers being Rowand Anderson, J J Stevenson and J McKean Brydon. Both partners were admitted FRIBA on 5 December 1904, by which date the practice had become extremely successful. Shortly after the partnership of Dunn & Watson was formed Archibald Campbell Dickie joined the firm as a senior assistant. Whilst there he also carried out independent work, aided by his own assistant, Alexander Symon, and he left around 1906 to form a partnership with Claude Kelly.

The practice became Dunn, Watson & Curtis Green in 1912 when William Curtis Green accepted Dunn's invitation to join the partnership. Green was English, born at Alton, Hampshire in 1875 and educated at Newton College, Newton Abbot, followed by West Bromwich Technical School and Birmingham School of Art 1892-94. In 1894 he moved to London as assistant first to George Thomas Hine, then to John Belcher 1895-97, and finally to Henry Thomas Hare before commencing practice on his own account in 1898. This enabled him to study at the RA schools, followed by travel in Italy, Germany and France, but he did not pass the qualifying exam until 1905 and was not admitted ARIBA until March 1906.

Robert Watson died in February 1916; Dunn retired to Kenya in 1919 and died there on 7 February 1934: Dunn had South African connections through work for the Union Castle Line, their entry in Who's Who in Architecture 1914 reporting branch offices in Cape Town, Durban and East London. Green was elected ARA in 1923, RA in 1933 and was Royal Gold Medallist in 1942. He died on 26 March 1960.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 135, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC, EnglandBusiness1900After 1904 

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architectural practice (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3William Dunn19121916Partner 
Item 2 of 3Robert Watson19121916Partner 
Item 3 of 3William Curtis Green19121916Partner 

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 startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 71895Scalpay House SkyeInverness-shireScotlandRestoration/additions to house and new thatched cottages on Scalpay and Pabay
Item 2 of 71912Glenlyon HouseFortingall PerthshireScotlandLaundry and garages (plans for additions to stables dated 1912)
Item 3 of 71913British Bank of South America  LondonEngland 
Item 4 of 71913Fortingall Parish ChurchFortingall PerthshireScotlandReseating and reredos
Item 5 of 71913Scottish Provident Institution  LondonEngland 
Item 6 of 71914The New CottagesFortingall PerthshireScotland 
Item 7 of 7Before 1916(?)Office block  DurbanSouth AfricaDate unknown, and therefore unclear whether in the partnership of Dunn & Watson or of Dunn, Watson & Curtis Green


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2RIBA Journal19 February 1916 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsObituary of Watson by William Dunn
Item 2 of 2RIBA Journal24 February 1934v41London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp418 - obituary of William Dunn by William Curtis Green