Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||John Gibb Marr |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||30 September 1890 |
|Died: ||29 July 1983 |
|Bio Notes: ||John Gibb Marr was born on 30 September 1890, the son of Alexander Marr, general labourer, and his wife Ann Gibb. He was articled to Sutherland & George of Aberdeen on 1 June 1907, attending classes at Robert Gordon's Technical College and Gray's School of Art. On completion of his apprenticeship on 1 June 1912 he joined A Marshall Mackenzie & Son as a draughtsman, later becoming chief assistant before being assumed as a partner on 1 January 1927. Lack of work led to the consolidation of the Mackenzie practices in London and Aberdeen with the London practice of Herbert Wigglesworth and that of Clement George in Aberdeen. |
After the deaths of and Clement George in 1932 and Alexander Marshall Mackenzie in 1933, Mackenzie's son, Alexander George Robertson Mackenzie ('AGR'), determined to strengthen the Aberdeen office, where Marr had had little opportunity for design and still less for the modern design required to keep the practice in business: his relationship with Marshall Mackenzie had been a very close one in which he never sought to do more than carry out his wishes as faithfully as he possibly could. AGR's choice fell on Leonard Stokes's son David, who had left the Architectural Association in 1930 and set up practice with Peter Fleetwood Hesketh. He had run out of work. His office in Lincoln's Inn was near to Mackenzie and Wigglesworth's, and shortly after his father's death AGR asked Stokes to take charge of the design work of the Aberdeen office. It was an arrangement on which Marr had not been consulted and with which he may not have been entirely happy: much later he observed that he felt Stokes had been sent up to keep an eye on him. Introducing a London Catholic to Aberdeen society of that time was not without problems, but Stokes found that 'the natives in Aberdeen became friendly in about six months.'
Marr was a member of the Council of the Aberdeen Society of Architects throughout the 1930s, and was admitted FRIBA in late 1933, his proposers being AGR, Arthur Hay Livingstone Mackinnon and John Alexander Ogg Allan.
Although the Aberdeen office was commissioned to build a large new office for the Halifax Building Society, by 1935 the Mackenzie & Wigglesworth practice in London was at a low ebb: Robert W R Mackenzie (1913-75) of the Perth bleaching (Lumsden & Mackenzie) side of the family was to have joined the office, but in the event there was not enough work to justify him coming. The Wigglesworth and Stokes partnerships were dissolved, AGR returned to Aberdeen and the Stokes 'went back to London without any reluctance'. Apart from some country house work, most importantly Candacraig, the business of the post-war practice was mainly conservation work, the National Trust for Scotland being the main client.
AGR Mackenzie and John Gibb Marr remained in partnership until 1960 when AGR retired completely, following a disagreement with Marr, which was regretted on both sides and subsequently made up. Marr continued the practice, and it was not until this time that its title was changed to A Marshall Mackenzie & Marr. He closed the practice in 1972, when most of the drawings were dispersed to the firm's clients or to the current owners of the buildings. He retired to Raigmore Tower, Westhill, Inverness and died at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, on 29 July 1983. He had been married twice, first to Isabella Cranna and second to Kathleen Kinnaird. His son registered his death.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|The Tower, Westhill, Inverness, Inverness-shire, Scotland||Private|| ||1983|| |
|173A, Union Street, Aberdeen, Scotland||Business||Before 1930||After 1933|| |
|The Corner, Pitfodels, Cults, Aberdeenshire, Scotland||Private||1933 *|| || |
|3, Bon Accord Square, Aberdeen, Scotland||Business||c. 1939|| || |
|235, Great Western Road, Aberdeen, Scotland||Business||c. 1970|| || |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architect:|
|Bailey, Rebecca M||1996||Scottish architects' papers: a source book|| ||Edinburgh: The Rutland Press||p97|
|RIBA||1939||The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940|| ||London: Royal Institute of British Architects|| |
|The following periodicals contain references to this architect:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Builder||7 May 1948|| || ||p548-51|
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|Professor David M Walker personal archive||Professor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material|| ||Personal information from: Mrs AGR Mackenzie; John Gibb Marr; Ian G Lindsay; Robert W R Mackenzie (of Perth); Mrs Adams ('Dr Marshall Mackenzie's quine'); David Stokes (interview with Charles McKean on 17 December 1985)|
|RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum||RIBA Nomination Papers|| ||F no3158 (box 18)|
|School of Architecture, Garthdee, Aberdeen, RGIT: former pupils, 1937-1970||Galletly, James|| || |