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Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Bell
Designation: Architect
Born: 14 September 1910
Died: 19 April 1967
Bio Notes: James Bell was born on 14 September 1910 and was articled to James Miller of Glasgow from 1927 to 1932, concurrently studying at Glasgow University where he was awarded a second-class honours BSc in 1931 and at the Royal Technical College where he received his diploma in 1932. He was admitted ARIBA in the latter year, his proposers being Miller, Thomas Harold Hughes and George Arthur Boswell. He remained with Miller until 1934, when he joined Frank Burnet & Boston as an assistant. He was made a partner of the latter practice in 1937, although the firm's name remained unchanged until 1961 when it became Frank Burnet, Bell & Partners.

During the Second World War Bell commanded 554 Field Company the Royal Engineers and was awarded the DSO and mentioned in dispatches. While he was on war service Burnet opened an office in Greenock in 1943. In the post-war years he and Bell had a very large practice in which they were assisted by Hamish Hill and James Rennie. Bell was elected FRIBA on 10 February 1948, his proposers being Alexander Nisbet Malcolm, William McCrea and James Steel Maitland.

Bell was active in both public and professional life as Deacon of the Incorporation of Masons, member of the RIBA Council, representative of the RIAS's Glasgow chapter, vice-chairman of the Governors of Glasgow School of Art, member of convocation of the University of Strathclyde, chairman of the Governors of Kelvinside Academy and Controller of Civil Defence for Bute. He died at the early age of fifty-six on 19 April 1967.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 39, Botanic Crescent, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivateBefore 19321939 or 1930 
Item 2 of 3Tister, Blanefield, Stirlingshire, ScotlandPrivate1948 *  
Item 3 of 3180, Hope Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1948After 1964With Frank Burnet & Boston

* 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 5James Miller19271932Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5James Miller19321934Assistant 
Item 3 of 5Frank Burnet & Boston19341937Assistant 
Item 4 of 5Frank Burnet & Boston19371961Partner 
Item 5 of 5Frank Burnet Bell & Partners19611967PartnerBell died in 1967.


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6George Arthur BoswellLate 1932for Associateship
Item 2 of 6Thomas Harold HughesLate 1932for Associateship
Item 3 of 6James Steel Maitland10 February 1948for Fellowship
Item 4 of 6Alexander Nisbet Malcolm10 February 1948for Fellowship
Item 5 of 6William McCrea10 February 1948for Fellowship
Item 6 of 6James MillerLate 1932for Associateship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Stuart Lothian Barclay6 March 1956For Associateship
Item 2 of 3Neil Burke Moir8 January 1957For Fellowship
Item 3 of 3John Basden Wingate4 October 1960For Fellowhsip

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 301936St Columba's SchoolKilmacolm/Kilmalcolm RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 2 of 301937Royal Bank Of ScotlandSpringtown GlasgowScotland 
Item 3 of 301937Smiths (Wools) Ltd  GlasgowScotlandNew extension 1937. Alterations and additions, 1948
Item 4 of 30After 1937Clerical Medical & General Offices  GlasgowScotland 
Item 5 of 30After 1937Housing schemeDumfries DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 6 of 30After 1937Paisley Ice RinkPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 7 of 30After 1937R Wylie Hill's warehouse  GlasgowScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 8 of 30After 1937Royal Bank of Scotland branches  GlasgowScotlandUnspecified work
Item 9 of 301938HotelKelvinside GlasgowScotland 
Item 10 of 30After 1939Engineering Centre  GlasgowScotland 
Item 11 of 30After 1939Glasgow Royal Asylum for Lunatics  GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 12 of 30After 1939Housing estatePort Glasgow RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 13 of 30After 1939Industrial EstatePort Glasgow RenfrewshireScotlandUnspecified works
Item 14 of 30After 1939Industrial EstateUddingston LanarkshireScotlandUnspecified work
Item 15 of 30After 1939Industrial EstatePaisley RenfrewshireScotlandUnspecified work
Item 16 of 30After 1939Royal Bank of Scotland  GlasgowScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 17 of 30After 1939Royal Hospital for Sick ChildrenYorkhill GlasgowScotlandAdditions
Item 18 of 301948Finlayson (Confectioners) Limited Premises   GlasgowScotlandalterations and additions
Item 19 of 301948Housing UddingstonUddington LanarkshireScotland 
Item 20 of 301948Montgomerie Stobo Factory, Rogart Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 21 of 301948Old Menís and Womenís Home  GlasgowScotland 
Item 22 of 301948Works Canteen Ashtree Road  Glasgow  
Item 23 of 301960Canniesburn Hospital, Geriatric UnitBearsden GlasgowScotland120-bed geriatric unit addded
Item 24 of 301960Factory for Enfield Standard Power Cables, WestburnCambuslang LanarkshireScotland 
Item 25 of 301960Head office of Stenhouse Holdings Ltd  GlasgowScotlandModernisation of office
Item 26 of 301960Linnwood High SchoolLinnwood Renfrewshire  
Item 27 of 301960Royal Hospital for Sick ChildrenYorkhill GlasgowScotlandAdmission block, laboratory block, doctors' and nurses' residences added
Item 28 of 301960University of Glasgow(?), regional physics building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 29 of 301964Cairnbaan HotelCairnbaan ArgyllScotlandFlat-roofed restaurant added
Item 30 of 301964St Joseph's Primary SchoolMilngavie DunbartonshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Press 
Item 2 of 3Municipal Annual1964Scottish Municipal Annual1964-1965  
Item 3 of 3RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1RIBA JournalJuly 1967 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsObituary by Ninian Johnston

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 Additional information from Iain Paterson
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no4943 (combined box 46); F no4327 (combined box 8) - assistantship and practice details are taken from these sources; others conflict but are secondary sources and therefore less reliable


© All rights reserved. © Courtesy of Glasgow Institute of Architects 

© All rights reserved. © Courtesy of Glasgow Institute of Architects