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Basic Biographical Details

Name: Alexander Smellie
Designation: Architect
Born: 15 February 1889
Died: 22 March 1971
Bio Notes: Alexander Smellie was born on 15 February 1889, the son of Alexander Smellie, grocer, and his wife MArgaret Allan. After a year or two as an unpaid office boy, he was articled to Honeyman Keppie & Mackintosh from 1906 to 1911, studying at the Glasgow School of Art (1905 to 1910) and Glasgow Technical College. On completing his apprenticeship he joined John B Wilson & Son as a draughtsman, remaining there until the beginning of the First World War. He served in Palestine, returning slightly deaf as a result of a train crash there. When the war was over he obtained a place as draughtsman in the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society's Building Department in 1919 and remained there for a year before returning to John Keppie's firm, by then Keppie & Henderson, in 1920. He was assumed as a partner in 1929, although the practice title remained unchanged. His role in the practice was principally that of structural engineer. He dealt mainly with the industrial side of the practice, on which he preferred to work entirely on his own.

Smellie was admitted LRIBA on 15 October 1930, his proposers being Keppie, John Watson and Thomas Lumsden Taylor. His nomination papers include a list of principal works and costs but in most cases no location or date is specified, and consequently most remain unidentified.

Smellie looked after the practice during the Second World War, Graham Henderson being on full-time active service as a Lieutenant Colonel. The partnership was resumed in 1945 and in 1959 Smellie's daughter Margaret joined the practice. Smellie retired in 1969. He died on 22 March 1971 at home in Glasgow. He was survived by his wife Margaret Robertson Gilchrist.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 471, Carlaverock Road, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate 1971 
Item 2 of 4257, West George Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1930 *  
Item 3 of 419, Langlands Road, Newlands, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1930 *  
Item 4 of 4181, West Regent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1939 *  

* 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 7Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh19061911Apprentice 
Item 2 of 7John B Wilson & Son19111914Draughtsman 
Item 3 of 7Scottish Co-Operative Wholesale Society (SCWS) Architectural Department (CWS Ltd Architecture & Design)19191920Draughtsman 
Item 4 of 7Keppie & Henderson19201929Draughtsman 
Item 5 of 7Keppie & Henderson19291948Partner 
Item 6 of 7Keppie Henderson & J L Gleave19481958Partner 
Item 7 of 7Keppie Henderson & Partners1958 Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3John Keppie15 October 1930for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 3Thomas Lumsden Taylor15 October 1930for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 3John Watson15 October 1930for Licentiateship

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 115 Glasgow School of Art, Foulis Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 2 of 1151921Dennistoun BakeryDennistoun GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 3 of 1151923Glasgow Cross  GlasgowScotlandAdjusted original design making one of the quadrants concave (instead of convex as in 1914 design)
Item 4 of 1151924David Elder InfirmaryGovan GlasgowScotland 
Item 5 of 1151927Glasgow School of Art, Assembly Buildings  GlasgowScotland 
Item 6 of 1151929Glasgow School of Art  GlasgowScotlandNew Assembly Hall block
Item 7 of 1151930sAssociated Scottish Newspapers premises  GlasgowScotland 
Item 8 of 1151930David Elder InfirmaryGovan GlasgowScotlandNew ward
Item 9 of 1151930Dunoon HydropathicDunoon ArgyllScotlandAdditions
Item 10 of 1151930House at Easter CulbowieBuchlyvie StirlingshireScotland 
Item 11 of 1151930Mavor & Coulson Ltd Engineering WorksBridgeton GlasgowScotlandAdditions
Item 12 of 1151931British Linen Bank and TenementHutchesontown GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 13 of 1151931British Linen Bank, Clarkston BranchClarkston GlasgowScotland 
Item 14 of 1151931Castle KnockCrieff PerthshireScotlandRepairs and refurbishment
Item 15 of 1151931Gailes Club House  AyrshireScotlandAlterations
Item 16 of 1151931Glasgow School of Art  GlasgowScotlandWork on Old Dental Buildings
Item 17 of 1151931Killermont HouseNew Kilpatrick/Bearsden Dunbartonshire/GlasgowScotlandAlterations and repairs
Item 18 of 11519321-2 Colebrook Terrace  GlasgowScotlandAlterations to 1-2 Colebrooke Terrace
Item 19 of 1151932City of Glasgow Friendly Society  GlasgowScotlandAlterations to no 202 (according to Stark)
Item 20 of 1151933British Linen BankWick CaithnessScotland 
Item 21 of 1151933Broughton HouseKirkcudbright KirkcudbrightshireScotlandAlterations
Item 22 of 1151933Cove Cemetery, R J Dunlop MonumentCove DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 23 of 1151933FactoryEast Kilbride LanarkshireScotlandAlterations
Item 24 of 1151933(?)Glasgow Evening News building  GlasgowScotlandReconstruction?
Item 25 of 1151933Kenilworth Hotel  GlasgowScotland 
Item 26 of 1151933Linthouse United Free ChurchGovan GlasgowScotlandAlterations for organ chamber
Item 27 of 1151933Paisley Library and MuseumPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandExtension
Item 28 of 1151933Pollok Golf ClubPollok Estate GlasgowScotlandAdditions
Item 29 of 1151934431 Keppochhill RoadSpringburn GlasgowScotland 
Item 30 of 1151934British Linen Bank Head Office  GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 31 of 1151934Croftfoot Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 32 of 1151934Daly's premises  GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 33 of 1151934Dennistoun BakeryDennistoun GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 34 of 1151935'The Spittal'Stonehouse LanarkshireScotland 
Item 35 of 1151935CessfordTroon AyrshireScotlandAlterations
Item 36 of 1151935Garage for Western Motor Co  GlasgowScotland 
Item 37 of 1151935Glasgow Herald Building  GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 38 of 1151935Kelvin Nursing Home  GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 39 of 1151935Langside Old Parish ChurchLangside GlasgowScotlandStone cleaning
Item 40 of 1151935Premises for R A Peacock & Son Ltd  GlasgowScotland 
Item 41 of 1151935Whitecraigs Golf Club  GlasgowScotland 
Item 42 of 1151936Anderson's College Medical SchoolKelvinhaugh GlasgowScotlandAlterations - may not have been completed until the 1940s or perhaps further work
Item 43 of 1151936Bakery, 38 Wesleyan Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 44 of 1151936British Linen Bank  GlasgowScotlandNew bank within existing building
Item 45 of 1151936British Linen BankThurso CaithnessScotlandInternal alterations?
Item 46 of 1151936Glasgow Eastern Co-operative Society Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 47 of 1151936Premises for William Collins & Co  GlasgowScotland 
Item 48 of 1151937431 Keppochhill RoadSpringburn GlasgowScotlandStore
Item 49 of 1151937Barnhill  DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 50 of 1151937Glasgow Evening News building  GlasgowScotlandMajor reconstruction
Item 51 of 1151937Premises for Alexander Henderson Ltd  GlasgowScotland 
Item 52 of 1151937Premises for the Licenses & General Insurance Co  GlasgowScotland 
Item 53 of 1151937Premises for the Limner & Trinidad Lake Asphalt CoPolmadie GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 54 of 1151938British Linen BankLanark LanarkshireScotland 
Item 55 of 1151938British Linen BankDennistoun GlasgowScotland 
Item 56 of 1151938Dennistoun BakeryDennistoun GlasgowScotlandStables
Item 57 of 1151938Glasgow Art Club  GlasgowScotlandRepairs to smoking room
Item 58 of 1151938Grand HotelBrora SutherlandScotlandAlterations
Item 59 of 1151938House, Lynedoch Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 60 of 1151938Premises for Town Tailors  GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 61 of 1151938ViewmountBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 62 of 1151939British Linen Bank, West George Street  GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 63 of 1151939Free Church College  GlasgowScotlandRefurbishment
Item 64 of 1151939Office for James A Finlay CA  GlasgowScotland 
Item 65 of 1151939Premises for Francis McHughRutherglen LanarkshireScotland 
Item 66 of 1151940(?)Squash Racquets Courts and gymnasiumHillhead GlasgowScotland 
Item 67 of 115After 1940Clydesdale BankPrestwick AyrshireScotland 
Item 68 of 115After 1940Clydesdale BankSt Rollox GlasgowScotland 
Item 69 of 115After 1940Clydesdale BankAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 70 of 115After 1940Glasgow Academy, Dining Hall  GlasgowScotland 
Item 71 of 115After 1940Glasgow Academy, Gymnasium  GlasgowScotland 
Item 72 of 115After 1940Govan Old Parish ChurchGovan GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 73 of 115After 1940Scottish Industrial Estate, Organon Factory, NewhouseMotherwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 74 of 115After 1940Whitby Junior and Infants' SchoolWhitby YorkshireEngland 
Item 75 of 115c. 1946Vale of Leven Industrial EstateStrathleven DunbartonshireScotlandLayout and factories
Item 76 of 1151949University of Glasgow, Engineering Building  GlasgowScotlandFor alterations and additons
Item 77 of 1151950Carnwadric Church and Hall  GlasgowScotlandConflict of information with 'Buildings of Scotland'. This is given in 'Scottish Churches in the Post-War Period'. Plans prepared before War and construction after.
Item 78 of 115After 1950Clydesdale BankPossilpark GlasgowScotland 
Item 79 of 115After 1950University of Glasgow, Departments of Geography, Geology and Zoology  GlasgowScotland 
Item 80 of 115After 1950University of Glasgow, Quincentenary Memorial Gates  GlasgowScotland 
Item 81 of 115After 1950Whitby County Modern SchoolWhitby YorkshireEngland 
Item 82 of 1151951Clydesdale Bank Headquarters, St Vincent Place  GlasgowScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 83 of 1151951Drumchapel Baking and Biscuit Factory, Great Western Road  LanarkshireScotland 
Item 84 of 1151954Clackmannan County HospitalAlloa ClackmannanshireScotlandE addition. Outpatients Department etc
Item 85 of 1151954St Andrew's Secondary SchoolCarntyne and Robroyston GlasgowScotland 
Item 86 of 1151957Provanhill Primary SchoolEasterhouse GlasgowScotland 
Item 87 of 1151958Littlewoods Store  GlasgowScotland 
Item 88 of 1151958Offices for Motherwell Bridge and Engineering CompanyMotherwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 89 of 1151959St Benedict's RC Primary SchoolEasterhouse GlasgowScotland 
Item 90 of 1151959Stirling Royal InfirmaryStirling StirlingshireScotlandAdditional wards (per Builder p978) and perhaps other additions (like chest diseases unit?)
Item 91 of 115c. 1959(?)BEA Control CentreNewton Mearns RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 92 of 115c. 1959(?)BEA Control CentreKirkintilloch DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 93 of 115Late 1950sBelvidere Hospital  GlasgowScotlandPoliomyelius Unit
Item 94 of 115Late 1950sGlasgow Academy, Memorial Hall  GlasgowScotland 
Item 95 of 115Late 1950sLaw HospitalCarluke LanarkshireScotlandLaboratories added
Item 96 of 1151960sDixons Blazes Industrial estate  GlasgowScotland 
Item 97 of 1151960sIndustrial EstateRutherglen GlasgowScotland 
Item 98 of 1151960sIndustrial EstateBirkenshaw YorkshireEngland 
Item 99 of 1151962Garnethill redevelopmentGarnethill GlasgowScotland 
Item 100 of 1151962Jordanhill College, Crawfurd Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 101 of 1151963Falkirk Royal InfirmaryFalkirk StirlingshireScotlandExperimental block (and theatre block?)
Item 102 of 1151963University of Glasgow, Biochemistry Buildings  GlasgowScotland 
Item 103 of 1151964Govan Combination Poorhouse and AsylumGovan GlasgowScotlandMaternity Unit, new kitchen and staff dining rooms, new pharmacy building, rehabilitation centre and staff residential accommodation.
Item 104 of 1151964Johnstone High SchoolJohnstone RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 105 of 1151964University of Glasgow, Hydrodynamics Laboratory and Astronomy Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 106 of 1151965Westerm Infirmary, accident and emergency department  GlasgowScotland 
Item 107 of 1151965Western Infirmary Redevelopment Phases I and II  GlasgowScotland 
Item 108 of 1151966Cranhill Secondary SchoolCranhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 109 of 1151966University of Glasgow, Engineering Block  GlasgowScotland 
Item 110 of 1151967Jordanhill College, Henry Wood Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 111 of 1151967Jordanhill College, refectoryJordanhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 112 of 1151967Premises for Littlewoods Mail Order Service  EdinburghScotland 
Item 113 of 1151968Gartnavel General Hospital  GlasgowScotland 
Item 114 of 1151968Jordanhill College, (Scottish School of Physical Education) Science and Mathematics Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 115 of 115Late 1960sStirling Royal Infirmary, nurses' residenceStirling StirlingshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 4Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp28 Falkirk Royal Infirmary prototype wards;
Glasgow's Western Infirmary;
Gartnavel General Hospital, Glasgow
p155 Ward Unit and Operating Theatre Suite, Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary
Item 2 of 4RIBA1930The RIBA Kalendar 1930-1931 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 4RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 4 of 4Stark, David2004Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Co., 1854 to 2004 Glasgow: Stenlake Publishing Ltd 

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L no3476 (box 11)


© All rights reserved.  courtesy of Keppie Design 

© All rights reserved. courtesy of Keppie Design