Basic Biographical Details

Name: Robert Robertson
Designation: Architect
Born: 9 July 1866
Died: 1939
Bio Notes: Robert Robertson was born on 9 July 1866 and educated at Perth Academy. He began his training in 1883 with practical experience in the building workshops of Messrs Pullars, a Perth contracting firm, before being articled to John Russell Walker of Edinburgh in 1886. From that time he studied at Edinburgh University, Edinburgh School of Art and Heriot-Watt College. He assisted Walker with measured drawings for the latter's book 'Pre-Reformation Churches in Fifeshire', leaving him in 1890 to work for a year as resident architect on public works in Dunbar before moving to London, where he found employment in the office of George Baines and continued his studies at the Architectural Association.

Eight months after joining Baines he obtained a position as assistant in the London County Council Architects Department, where he remained thereafter. Initially an assistant in the Housing Section, in 1901 he became Assistant Architect in charge of Housing of the Working Classes, in which capacity he took a leading part in designing all the large LCC housing schemes of the early years of the 20th century. He was in the same position at the time of his admittance as LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911, his proposers being his departmental head William Edward Riley, and Leonard Stokes and Hugh Patrick Guarin Maule, both of London. He spent two years with the London Scottish regiment during the First World War and in 1916 was seconded to the Ministry of Munitions, where he occupied the position of Director of Housing Construction until 1919, when he returned to his county appointment. He was subsequently promoted to Chief Divisional Architect (Schools), and in 1919, upon the recommendation of the new chief architect George Topham Forrest, was promoted again, to the position of Chief Assistant Architect (the post becoming Chief Divisional Architect in 1926). He was elected FRIBA in mid-1930, his proposers being Forrest, Edwin Paul Wheeler and Frederick Robert Hiorns, all of the LCC Architects Department.

Outside work Robertson was a keen musician of pipe music. He was for a time pipe major with the London Scottish and he made arrangements of well-known tunes for the bagpipes.

Robertson retired in 1931 and died in 1939. The LSS biogphical volume records that 'he was of a courteous and kindly disposition and was held in high esteem by the staff'.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2Dunbar, East Lothian, ScotlandBusiness18901891As resident architect on public works
Item 2 of 245, St Marys Mansions, Paddington, London, EnglandPrivateBefore 1911After 1930 

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 11Messrs Pullar18831886Apprentice(?)Early practical experience
Item 2 of 11John Russell Walker18861890ApprenticeMay have been apprentice from 1883 and assistant towards the end of this period.
Item 3 of 11George Baines18911892Assistant 
Item 4 of 11London County Council Architects' Department (LCC Architects' Department)18921901Assistant 
Item 5 of 11William Edward Riley18921901Assistantin LCC Architects Department
Item 6 of 11London County Council Architects' Department (LCC Architects' Department)1901After 1911AssistantAssistant Architect in charge of Housing the Working Classes (Buildings) Section
Item 7 of 11William Edward Riley1901After 1911Assistantin LCC Architects Department - Assistant Architect in charge of Housing the Working Classes (Buildings) Section
Item 8 of 11London County Council Architects' Department (LCC Architects' Department)After 19111919ArchitectChief Divisional Architect (Schools)
Item 9 of 11William Edward RileyAfter 19111919Architectin LCC Architects Department - Chief Divisional Architect (Schools)
Item 10 of 11George Topham Forrest1919After 1930Chief Assistantin LCC Architects Department - Chief Assistant Architect
Item 11 of 11London County Council Architects' Department (LCC Architects' Department)1919After 1930ArchitectChief Assistant Architect


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6George Topham ForrestMid 1930for Fellowship
Item 2 of 6Frederick Robert HiornsMid 1930for Fellowship
Item 3 of 6Hugh Patrick Guarin Maule20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 4 of 6William Edward Riley20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 5 of 6Leonard Aloysius Scott Stokes20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 6 of 6Edwin Paul WheelerMid 1930for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3James Macrae1931for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 3Robert Scott Skilling1931for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 3Reginald Buchanan UrquhartLate 1931for Licentiateship


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Builder22 December 1939  Obituary - CHECK for further info

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2London Metropolitan Archives Biographical volumes on Council architects   
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v14 no919; F no2801 (box 12)