Basic Biographical Details

Name: Archibald Macintosh Doak
Designation: Architect
Born: 29 August 1915
Died: 11 October 1992
Bio Notes: Archibald ('Archie') Macintosh Doak was born in Greenock on 29 August 1915, the son of Robert Doak, foreman patternmaker in the Caledonian Foundry, Greenock, and Christina McIntosh. He was the second eldest of a family of six, four boys and two girls, who were brought up by two maiden aunts, Helen and Margaret McIntosh, after both parents became invalids. He was educated at Greenock High School, where he proved an excellent athlete and footballer, representing Scotland at Schoolboy level and being offered the opportunity to play at Senior level with Morton FC. However, he chose instead to pursue a career in architecture, and was articled to John Keppie & Henderson in 1933 (having lost a year at school through illness), studying at the Glasgow School of Architecture under Harold Hughes. He was a successful student, gaining the Glasgow School of Architecture Medal for Excellence in 1936. At the end of his articles he sought experience elsewhere, including in the office of Thomson Sandilands & MacLeod, but in 1938 he returned to Keppie & Henderson's as assistant to Andrew Graham Henderson. In that office he became a close friend of Robert W K C Rogerson (born May 1917), later of Rogerson & Spence.

After war was declared on 3 September 1939 Doak followed Colonel Henderson, as he had by then become, to the War Department valuer's office at the Royal College of Science & Technology. He was called up in the following year and spent three-and-a-half years in the First Fortress Company of the Royal Engineers at Gibraltar, followed by two years in the army of occupation in Hamburg, working on post-war repair and building projects. He was demobilised from Halifax in 1946 and returned to Keppie & Henderson's from 1947 to 1949. In 1947 he was elected LRIBA and he was awarded the A Leslie Hamilton Travelling Scholarship. From 1949-50 he was on the staff of the Department of Health in Edinburgh, and from 1951-54 returned to Glasgow as senior assistant architect to John McNab in the Education section of Glasgow City Architect's Department, experience which was to prove invaluable later.

In 1954, with Alistair Whitelaw, Doak won the competition for the Children's Church at Sighthill, Edinburgh, and as neither had any track record in independent practice they formed the partnership of Ross, Doak & Whitelaw with David Ross of Aberdeen. He took no very active part in it, all the design work being carried out by Doak and Whitelaw. Initially the firm of Ross, Doak & Whitelaw was based in Glasgow, while Ross continued to run his own practice in Aberdeen, passing some commissions to the Glasgow office. Other church commissions quickly followed, and in 1959 Whitelaw too moved to Aberdeen to open a branch office in premises shared with J A O Allan, Ross & Allan at 13 Bon Accord Square. The practice's one major building was Anniesland College of Further Education, built in 1962-64.

Doak served for many years on the Councils of both the Glasgow Institute and the Royal Incorporation (he was elected FRIAS in 1964 and FRIBA in 1968, proposed by Jack Coia, Ninian Johnston and Alexander Buchanan Campbell). His experience of publishing with the Glasgow Institute and his friendship with the designer Gordon Huntly resulted in an invitation from the Corporation of Glasgow to produce 'Glasgow at a Glance', the pictorial guide to Glasgow's architecture for the Commonwealth Arts Festival. This he undertook in partnership with Professor Andrew McLaren Young, Richmond Professor of Fine Art at the University of Glasgow. Broadly McLaren Young edited the book and wrote the Mackintosh captions, David Walker wrote the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth century entries, while Doak contributed the post-war material and attended to the book production. It proved a bestseller and ran to several further editions following McLaren Young's untimely death in 1975 when the precedence of the editors was reversed. As a result of his experience with this book Doak was appointed chairman of the RIAS publications board. He advised on the production of the RIAS/Landmark Trust series of architectural guides, but did not become involved in the actual writing of them. He acted in a similar capacity at Glasgow Art Club, of which he was a member for forty years and latterly treasurer.

Doak was not tall and was quite unpretentious; but he had a confident and absolutely straightforward manner coupled with a dry and occasionally pawky humour, particularly when recounting his early days at Keppie & Henderson's. In his Fellowship Nomination Paper Jack coia described him as having a 'sincere personality' and being a 'capable architect'.

He died on 11 October 1992, survived by his wife Moira (née Cameron), his sons John who practised in the Cayman Islands and Christopher who practised in Glasgow, and by his daughter Caroline.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness   
Item 2 of 477, Dempster Street, Greenock, Renfrewshire, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)1950 *  
Item 3 of 439, Mansfield Road, Clarkston, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness(?)1964 *  
Item 4 of 42, Clifton Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1964After 1970 

* 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 7Keppie & Henderson1933c. 1936Apprentice 
Item 2 of 7Thomson Sandilands & MacLeodc. 19361938Assistant 
Item 3 of 7Keppie & Henderson19381949Assistant 
Item 4 of 7John McNab (or John MacNab)After 1946Mid 1950sAssistantIn Glasgow Corporation Education Office
Item 5 of 7Department of Health for Scotland (Scottish Board of Health; later Scottish Development Department)19491950Assistant 
Item 6 of 7Glasgow Corporation Education Office19511954AssistantWorking under John McNab
Item 7 of 7Ross, Doak & Whitelaw1954 Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Alexander Buchanan Campbell17 July 1968For Fellowship
Item 2 of 3Jack Antonio Coia17 July 1968For Fellowship
Item 3 of 3Ninian Rutherford Jamieson Johnston17 July 1968For Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 2John Philip Boys4 February 1970For Fellowship
Item 2 of 2Robert Barr Rankin22 July 1970For 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 22After 1939Underground fortress  GibraltarSpain 
Item 2 of 221955Drumry St Mary's Church of ScotlandDrumchapel GlasgowScotland 
Item 3 of 221955Garthamlock and Craigend Church of Scotland  GlasgowScotland 
Item 4 of 221955St Nicholas Church of ScotlandWester Hailes EdinburghScotlandFinal design as built
Item 5 of 221960sAmochrie Primary School  RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 6 of 221960sCooked meats factory for McKellar Watt  GlasgowScotland 
Item 7 of 221960sPrinting works and paper store for D C Thomson  GlasgowScotland 
Item 8 of 221960sScreen printing factoryKirkintilloch DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 9 of 221961St George's and St Peter's Church of Scotland and church hallEasterhouse GlasgowScotland 
Item 10 of 221962Anniesland College of Further Education  GlasgowScotland 
Item 11 of 221962Colston and Milton Church of ScotlandMilton GlasgowScotland 
Item 12 of 221962Moncrieffe Church of Scotland, CalderwoodEast Kilbride LanarkshireScotland 
Item 13 of 221963Camphill High SchoolPaisley RenfrwshireScotland 
Item 14 of 221963Grange Senior Secondary SchoolCastlemilk GlasgowScotland 
Item 15 of 221964Foxbar Primary SchoolPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 16 of 221966St Clare's RC ChurchEasterhouse GlasgowScotland 
Item 17 of 221970Papdale House Orkney ScotlandRestoration
Item 18 of 22Before 1970Residential SchoolAlyth PerthshireScotland 
Item 19 of 221975Aberdeen Technical College  AberdeenScotlandPerhaps less involved as operating from Glasgow.
Item 20 of 22Before 1975Ayrshire Central HospitalIrvine AyrshireScotlandArea Laundry
Item 21 of 22Before 1975Greenock and District Combination Hospital, GatesideGreenock RenfrewshireScotlandArea Laundry
Item 22 of 221979Rankin Memorial Maternity and Children's HospitalGreenock RenfrewshireScotlandSpecial Baby Care Unit


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Municipal Annual1964Scottish Municipal Annual1964-1965  
Item 2 of 2RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Builder2 April 1954  p585
Item 2 of 3Builder1 May 1964  p903 - Doak edits Year Book of the Glasgow Institute of Architects (1964)
Item 3 of 3RIAS NewsletterFebruary 1993   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal recollections of Archibald M Doak
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F no6167 (Combined Box 123)