Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||Ludovic Gordon Farquhar |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||9 September 1899 |
|Died: ||23 December 1945 |
|Bio Notes: ||Ludovic Gordon Farquhar was born at Bridge of Weir on 9 August 1899, the son of Andrew Farquhar and his wife Hilda Harrington Mann, artist and sister of the portrait painter G Harrington Mann. He was called up on leaving school, entering Sandhurst, and was commissioned in the Gordon Highlanders, seeing out the end of the war in France. |
In 1920 Farquhar enrolled for the Diploma Course at Glasgow School of Architecture while in the office of Alexander David Hislop (Campbell & Hislop), and was awarded the Rowand Anderson travelling scholarship. In mid 1925 he sat the qualifying exam and was elected ARIBA on 30 November 1925, his proposers being Charles Gourlay, John Keppie and John Watson. He then moved to London as an assistant at Sir John Burnet & Partners for about a year before emigrating to New York to work for Mayers, Murray & Phillip, where he first met Francis Lorne. He subsequently worked for Beaux-Arts skyscraper builder Raymond M Hood, architect of the Rockefeller Center in New York, on the Century of Progress Exhibition at Chicago in 1929-30; and finally for Henry Corse.
Lorne returned to London as partner in Burnet Tait & Lorne in 1930, and in 1931 he and his sister Helen, the practice secretary, invited Farquhar to return. At or about that time Farquhar married their sister Marie. Within the office Farquhar shared a room with Helen Lorne, fulfilled a role similar to that of David Raeside, who had died in 1928, and had a large hand in the preparation of the Information Book of Sir John Burnet Tait & Lorne: as Francis Lorne put it, 'His American training made him so capable to help and, too, his heart was in the idea … No drawing office ever ran so smoothly because his hand was always on the regulator, and what a sympathetic hand it was! The draughtsmen loved and respected him; the most difficult of clients automatically gravitated towards him and the builders and technical specialists all felt with justification that they had an understanding and sympathetic friend.' Those who worked under him found him terribly serious to the point of being rather humourless but, again in Lorne's words, he would 'put the solution over with such quietness and naturalness of manner … that one felt he was right … because one felt it was one's very own idea he was developing'.
After business picked up in about 1933, he spent much more time at the drawing board. He worked closely with Lorne and their chief assistant, Franz Stengelhofen, almost to the point of being a practice within a practice. Farquhar was taken into partnership in 1937 and was admitted FRIBA in October 1939, his proposers being Tait, Lorne and John Murray Easton. In the paper Tait describes him as having been fully responsible for Savile Row Police Station, one of a small group of stations for which Lorne and Farquhar had won a competition, and for the extremely accomplished Chamber of Shipping Offices in Bury Court, London and National Sanatorium at Benenden. At that date Farquhar was living at 3 Rivermead Court, Hurlingham, where he caused considerable astonishment and consternation among the neighbours by playing the bagpipes - he was an excellent piper.
When the Second World War broke out Farquhar was called up as a reserve officer of the Gordon Highlanders with the rank of Captain. He was posted to Singapore with the 2nd battalion and won the MC as company commander during the defence of Johore and Singapore. When Singapore fell he was put to work as a prisoner of war on the Bangkok-Moulmein Railway. After the Japanese surrender he was repatriated but died shortly after returning to his home, now 3 Pinemead Court, London, on 23 December 1945. He was survived by his wife Marie and twelve-year-old daughter Lorn.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|St Margaret's, Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, Scotland||Private||1925 *|| || |
|Hermiston Lodge, Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, Scotland||Private||c. 1930|| || |
|2, Rivermead Court, Hurlingham, London SW6, England||Private||1939 *|| || |
|1, Montague Place, London WC1, England||Business||1939 *|| || |
|3, Pinemead Court, London, England||Private||1945 *|| || |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architect:|
|RIBA||1930||The RIBA Kalendar 1930-1931|| ||London: Royal Institute of British Architects|| |
|Sir John Burnet, Tait & Partners||1986||Sir John Burnet, Tait & Partners: celebrating 150 years of excellence in Architecture|| ||Glasgow|| |
|The following periodicals contain references to this architect:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|RIBA Journal||February 1945|| ||London: Royal Institute of British Architects||Obituary|
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|Professor David M Walker personal archive||Professor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material|| ||Personal information from Margaret Brash Brodie and Harold Cullerne Pratt.|
|RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum||RIBA Nomination Papers|| ||F no3736 (box 28); A no3842 (microfilm reel 28)|