Basic Biographical Details

Name: Wylie, Wright & Wylie
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1928
Ended: 1935
Bio Notes: Alexander ('Sandy') Wright was born in 1877 and educated at Garnethill School where his classmates included Muirhead Bone, Albert Hodge and Alexander Hislop. In 1892 he entered the office of James Miller where he spent eighteen months as an office boy before being articled to John Hutchison, c.1894-98. Thereafter he was an assistant first with Clarke & Bell for three years c.1899-1902 and then with Alexander Cullen in Hamilton for eighteen months 1902-03 prior to emigrating to Montreal as assistant to Edward and William Sutherland with whom he remained for two and a half years, c.1903-06. He returned to Glasgow as a senior assistant to John Burnet & Son with whom he remained until he commenced independent practice at 147 Bath Street.

In 1911 Wright took into partnership a colleague at Burnet's, Edward Grigg Wylie, and moved office to 212 Bath Street. Wylie had been born at 12 Raeberry Street, Glasgow on 11 April 1885, the son of Robert Wylie, commercial traveller and brush manufacturer and his wife Agnes Robinson Grigg. He had been articled to William Forsyth McGibbon 1900-05, during which period (from 1901) he had studied at Glasgow School of Art and the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College, and from 1904 at the Glasgow School of Architecture where he took the full-time course and became close to Eugène Bourdon. At the end of his apprenticeship in 1905 he had won the RIBA Silver Medal and gained a place in the office of John Burnet & Son. During his time as apprentice and assistant he had undertaken five sketching tours in England and France, each of one month's duration. In 1909 Wylie had commenced practice on his own account, Bourdon having appointed him as part-time post at the Glasgow School of Architecture.

The practice was closed during the First World War. Wright served with the Royal Engineers, latterly in Italy, a country to which he was devoted. Wylie served with the Durham Light Infantry and was several times mentioned in despatches, gaining the MC and bar; he was also made a Chevalier of the Order of the Crown of Italy. The partnership was resumed in 1919. Wylie was appointed an instructor at Glasgow School of Art under Alexander McGibbon in that year, and admitted ARIBA under the war exemption scheme in 1920, his proposer being Sir John James Burnet.

In 1925 Wylie became departmental head of Glasgow School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, and in 1927 the practice moved to larger premises at 204 West Regent Street, business having grown enormously as a result of the competition wins for Hillhead High School and the Scots Legal Life Building.

In 1928 Wylie's nephew, Frederick Robert Wylie (born in Partick in 1904, the son of Wylie's brother William, company director and Isabella Pringle Forsyth) was taken into partnership, the practice title now becoming Wylie Wright & Wylie, the changed precedence reflecting Wylie's leading role as both designer and job-getter.

The partnership with Wright was dissolved in 1935 by mutual agreement. Wright recognised that by both age and temperament he was no longer suited to the fast changing nature of the practice, and set up his own which tended to specialise in alterations and additions rather than new buildings. In the following year Wylie took George Ferguson Shanks into partnership, the practice name becoming Wylie Shanks & Wylie.

In 1937 Wylie was appointed chief consulting architect to Scottish Industrial Estates Ltd and from that year onwards designed many of their buildings, and not long thereafter also became architect to Scottish Oils and Shell Mex Ltd. In 1949 Walter Underwood was taken into partnership, the firm name becoming Wylie Shanks & Underwood, and in the same year Wylie was appointed OBE for his services to the Scottish Industrial Estates Company.

Wylie died of a cerebral thrombosis at his home, 8 Queensborough Gardens, Glasgow on 31 August 1954 on the eve of the opening of the Scottish Industries Exhibition at the Kelvin Hall for which he had been largely responsible, Lord Bilsland paying tribute to his memory. He left a widow, Elizabeth Wyper Forsyth and the then substantial sum of £48,562 11s 5d.

Alexander Wright served as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architect in the early 1940s. He took over some of Harold Hughes's practice after Hughes's death in 1947. He continued to practise in a modest way almost to the time of his death at the age of ninety-five on 30 May 1972, from the end of the Second World War in partnership with _____ Kay as Alexander Wright & Kay in a basement office in _____. They did not really have much in common: Kay was no great designer but it was an arrangement in which Wright's great practical experience, particularly in structural matters, was always useful. In Wright's later years it kept his mind occupied and the low-key nature of the business suited them both.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2212, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness19111927 
Item 2 of 2204, West Regent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness19271935 

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 12John Alexander Browning19271932Apprentice 
Item 2 of 12Thomas Mitchellc. June 1927c. September 1927AssistantSummer appointment during studies at Glasgow School of Architecture
Item 3 of 12Alexander Arthur Robin1928(?)Before 1931Apprentice 
Item 4 of 12Thomas Smith Cordiner19281932Draughtsman 
Item 5 of 12Thomas Hill Thoms19281932(?)Apprentice 
Item 6 of 12James Miller19281932Draughtsman 
Item 7 of 12Edward Grigg Wylie19281935Partner 
Item 8 of 12Alexander Wright19281935Partner 
Item 9 of 12Frederick Robert Wylie19281935Partner 
Item 10 of 12Adam Elliot Watson1 February 19301935Assistant 
Item 11 of 12Horace James Dick HamiltonOctober 19321936Apprentice 
Item 12 of 12Thomas George LowLate 1930s Senior Assistant 

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 211927Glasgow Dental Hospital and School  GlasgowScotland 
Item 2 of 211928Hillhead High SchoolHillhead GlasgowScotlandBegun under Wright & Wylie, completed under Wylie, Wright & Wylie
Item 3 of 211928Scottish Legal Life Assurance Society Office  GlasgowScotlandBegun under Wright & Wylie; completed under Wylie, Wright & Wylie
Item 4 of 211929Lennox CastleLennoxtown StirlingshireScotlandConversion of Lennox Castle into nurses' home, and addition of numerous blocks on the estate to form hospital. Also extensive buildings for a theatre/cinema in hospital grounds proposed.
Item 5 of 211929Multi-Story Car Park Waterloo Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 6 of 211929ParkhallKillearn StirlingshireScotlandEast extension
Item 7 of 211931House at Rowardennan Hotel  StirlingshireScotlandAdditions
Item 8 of 211931House for John M Ross EsqGiffnock RenfrewshireScotlandWith Shanks mainly responsible
Item 9 of 211931Offices, Ardholm Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 10 of 2119323 William StreetHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotlandConversion to two flats
Item 11 of 211932East Campbell Street UP Church  GlasgowScotlandInterior altered as East Campbell Street Lodging House Mission
Item 12 of 211932Scottish Widows Fund and Life Assurance and Junior Conservative Club  GlasgowScotlandAlterations - north end of Renfield Street façade reconstructed as shops
Item 13 of 211933Anderson and Robertson factoryMotherwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 14 of 211933Craigpark Electric Cable Company's worksSpringburn GlasgowScotlandAdditions and complete reconstruction
Item 15 of 211933Milton's furnishing warehouse  GlasgowScotland 
Item 16 of 211934House for Frank M Marshall EsqWhitecraigs GlasgowScotlandWith Shanks mainly responsible
Item 17 of 211934Warehouse, 242-252 Sauchiehall Street  GlasgowScotlandInternal alterations
Item 18 of 211934Whitecraigs Mansion, garage and officesRenfrew RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 19 of 211934Wylie & Lochhead's  GlasgowScotlandWarehouse (behind main building?) This is the address given in 'Architect & Building News'.
Item 20 of 21193525-41 Hope Street  GlasgowScotlandReconstruction and additions
Item 21 of 211935Cathkin Braes Golf ClubhouseCathkin Braes LanarkshireScotlandComplete rebuild?

References

Currently, there are no references for this architectural practice. The information has been derived from: the British Architectural Library / RIBA Directory of British Architects 1834-1914; Post Office Directories; and/or any sources listed under this individual's works.