Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||James Cumming Wynnes |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||1875 |
|Died: ||20 November 1944 |
|Bio Notes: ||James Cumming Wynnes, born in 1875, came of an Aberdeen Quaker family but was articled in Glasgow to Burnet Son & Campbell in 1892. He remained with John James Burnet after the dissolution of the partnership in 1897, rising to the position of draughtsman and later chief of the Glasgow branch office. During that period he attended classes at Glasgow School of Art and the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College and spent at least a fortnight every year on sketching tours in England and Scotland, as well as visiting Belgium. |
In 1899 he obtained a place as chief draughtsman in the H M Office of Works, Edinburgh, initially under Walter Wood Robertson and from 1904 under William Thomas Oldrieve who recognised his outstanding ability and entrusted him with the design of Aberdeen Post Office; he probably also had a large hand in the similarly styled design for government offices on Calton Hill in Edinburgh. He was admitted LRIBA on 30 January 1911, his proposers being Oldrieve, Burnet and John Girtrig Young, also of the Edinburgh Office of Works. During his time in the Office of Works took further study trips abroad, spending a month in France and a month in Belgium. He was admitted FRIBA in late 1914, his proposers being Burnet, Oldrieve and David Theodore Fyfe.
In his nomination papers he claims that he had commenced independent practice in Edinburgh in 1904, though this must have been done in his spare time as he was still working for the Office of Works as late as 1910. (There is a conflict of information about when worked for the Office of Works and when he started in independent practice. Nomination Papers say he began with the Office of Works in 1899. PO Directories suggest that he was in partnership with Gordon Lorimer Wright from at least 1902; Nomination Papers state that about 1904 he took up a post at the Office of Works. It appears therefore that either he had a break from the Office of Works or that his work in partnership with Wright was in his spare time or his memory was faulty). Later he was Office of Works Architect for China, Japan and the Far East being posted initially to Tokyo in February 1928 as site architect for Sir Richard Allison's Ambassador's Residence, Chancery and other compound buildings, completed in 1932. Wyness received much credit which infuriated Allison. In the later 1930s he was Office of Works architect in Shanghai.
He retired in 1939 and died on 20 November 1944.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|122, George Street, Edinburgh, Scotland||Business||c. 1902||c. 1903||In partnership with Gordon Lorimer Wright|
|c/o Office of Works/3, Parliament Square, Edinburgh, Scotland||Business||1911 *|| || |
|9, Woodburn Terrace, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private||Before 1911||c. 1920|| |
|21, Castle Street, Edinburgh, Scotland||Business||1914 *|| || |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architect:|
|British Architectural Library, RIBA||2001||Directory of British Architects 1834-1914|| || || |
|Who's Who in Architecture||1914|| || || || |
|The following periodicals contain references to this architect:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Builder||1 December 1944||v167|| ||p426 - 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 J Fenton Wyness to whom Wynnes was distantly related (despite the difference in spelling of their surnames)|
|RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum||RIBA Nomination Papers|| ||L v9 no516 (microfilm reel 32); F v22 no1562 (microfilm reel 13)|