Basic Biographical Details

Name: (Sir) Richard John Allison
Designation: Architect
Born: 8 January 1869
Died: 28 September 1958
Bio Notes: Born in Battersea, London, on 8 January 1869, Richard John Allison was the second son of Joseph Charles Allison and his wife Harriet. He was educated at a private Choir School and studied Art at Lambeth School of Art. In 1883, he was articled to Karslake and Mortimer (Lewis Karslake) in 1883 and entered HM Office of Works in 1889, aged 20, where he was employed as a draughtsman on the temporary architectural staff for the next 12 years. He was appointed Assistant Architect in 1901; Architect in 1911; and Principal Architect following the retirement of Sir Henry Tanner in 1914, He became Chief Architect, HM Office of Works, on the formation of the Directorate of Works in 1920, remaining in this post until his retirement, aged 65, on 7 January 1934.

Allison passed the RIBA qualifying examination in 1904 and was elected ARIBA on 5 December 1904, his proposers being Henry Tanner, J Taylor and Ashton Webb. On 20 June 1919 he became a Fellow of the RIBA, his proposers being H Tanner and W Pott - Vol 23 No 1648

A member of the Arts Club, he died unmarried at his residence at Highgate on 28 September 1958, at the age of 89. The funeral took place at Golders Green Crematorium on 3 October 1958.

He was awarded the OBE in the Birthday Honours. June 1918, a CBE in 1920, a Knighthood in June 1927 and CVO (Commander Victoria Order ) in 1934.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4London, EnglandBusiness   
Item 2 of 4Clyde Villas, 3, Cornford Road, Streatham, London, EnglandPrivate1881 Census
Item 3 of 426, Whatman Road, Lewisham, London SEPrivate1904  
Item 4 of 463, Hornsey Lane, Highgate, London N6, EnglandPrivate19261958 

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 1H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)18891934 in London office


RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 2Peter Kydd HantonLate 1933for Fellowship
Item 2 of 2Archibald Scott1930for Fellowship

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 2Before 1928Ambassador's Residence, Chancery and other compound buildings  TokyoJapanResponsible for initial design
Item 2 of 21929Scottish Office buildingsCalton Hill EdinburghScotlandScheme I (unexecuted) - in collaboration with J Wilson Paterson of H M Office of Works, Edinburgh, and A J Pitcher


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1Who Was Who Who was Who  online edition. December 2007, accessed 10 Aug 2012

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Builder3 October 1958  p577 - obituary
Item 2 of 3RIBA JournalFebruary 1959 London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp145 - obituary
Item 3 of 3The Times30 September 1958  p13 - obituary