Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Mackie Venters
Designation: Architect
Born: 23 August 1888
Bio Notes: John Mackie Venters was born in Kirkcaldy, Fife on 23 August 1888, the son of Archibald Venters, engine fitter, and his wife Isabella Mackie. In August 1904 he was articled to Stewart Tough & Alexander of Greenock, attending classes at the Port Glasgow & Greenock Higher Grade School for three years and continuing his studies at the Glasgow School of Architecture and the Royal Technical College under Eugène Bourdon, Charles Gourlay and Alexander McGibbon. In 1911 he became an assistant to Bryden & Robertson but he left in 1912 when he obtained a salaried post in the Caledonian Railway Company Engineer's Office. He returned to the latter office after war service as a topographer and surveyor to the Field Survey Battalion of the Royal Engineers from 1915 to 1919. In February 1920 he moved to the office of Glasgow architect Charles James McNair, and he was admitted ARIBA late the same year under the war exemption scheme, his proposers being John Keppie, William Hunter McNab and William Brown Whitie.

In 1921 Venters obtained another salaried post, this time with H M Office of Works in London, but in 1923 he emigrated to Shanghai to commence independent practice as architect to Atkinson & Dallas Ltd. He was still there in 1931 when he was admitted FRIBA, his proposers being James Cumming Wynnes of the Office of Works, Harold Graham Fector Robinson of Shanghai, and Bright Fraser.

By 1960 Venters had moved to Canada and was working in Toronto. His son John Mackenzie Venters would appear to have also been an architect and shared his address in the RIBA Directory for 1960. Venters senior had resigned from the RIBA by 1970.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 53, Radnor Terrace, Sandyford, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1920 *  
Item 2 of 5c/0 Messrs Atkinson & Dallas/26, Peking Road, Shanghai, ChinaBusinessc. 1930  
Item 3 of 5104, Tifeng Road, Shanghai, ChinaPrivate1931 *  
Item 4 of 5Municipal Architect's Office, Straits Settlement, SingaporeBusinessc. 1938  
Item 5 of 5550a, Chruch Street, Toronto, CanadaBusiness1960 *  

* 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 7Stewart, Tough & Alexander2 August 19042 August 1909Apprentice 
Item 2 of 7Stewart, Tough & Alexander2 August 19099 November 1910Assistant 
Item 3 of 7Bryden & Robertson9 November 191029 March 1912Assistant 
Item 4 of 7Caledonian Railway Company Architect's and Engineer's Department29 March 191231 January 1920AssistantWith the exception of war service, 26 February 1915 to 18 March 1919
Item 5 of 7Charles James McNair2 February 19201921Assistant 
Item 6 of 7H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)19211923AssistantIn London office
Item 7 of 7Atkinson & Dallas1923After 1931Architect 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Bright Fraser1931for Fellowship
Item 2 of 6John KeppieLate 1920for Associateship
Item 3 of 6William Hunter McNabLate 1920for Associateship
Item 4 of 6Harold Graham Fector Robinson1931for Fellowship
Item 5 of 6William Brown WhitieLate 1920for Associateship
Item 6 of 6James Cumming Wynnes1931for Fellowship


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1RIBA1960The RIBA Kalendar 1959-19601959-1960  

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no3113 (microfilm reel 25); F no2959 (box 14)