Basic Biographical Details

Name: G P K Young & Son
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1921(?)
Ended: After 1955
Bio Notes: George Penrose Kennedy Young was born in 1858, the son of Perth architect John Young. He was articled to his father in 1875, and after a short period as his father's assistant he spent a year in London, studying architecture under Professor T Roger Smith at University College and drawing under Alphonse Legros at the Slade School. He was prizeman in construction in 1881. He passed the qualifying exam in 1885 and in the same year was taken into partnership by his father. He was admitted ARIBA on 8 June of that year, his proposers being John Honeyman, Thomas Lennox Watson and John Burnet Senior; his nomination papers indicate that prior to that time he had spent several brief periods travelling and studying in Italy, France, Holland and Belgium. Shortly thereafter he married Charlotte Anne Conacher.

That Burnet Senior was a proposer for Young's Associateship of the RIBA, and that other signatories - who probably signed at Burnet's request - were Glaswegians was a measure of the friendship between the Burnets and the Youngs at that time. It is not yet known how this came about but from the late 1890s the more important works of the practice were almost indistinguishable from the work of John James Burnet. By that time George had become sole partner following his father's death in Perth on 2 December 1895.

In 1907 George's elder son Cedric John Mathison Young, born on 4 June 1890 and educated at Merchiston Castle School, commenced his apprenticeship in his father's office. Two years later he moved to Glasgow to study full-time at Glasgow School of Architecture, working in the office of John Burnet & Son during his holidays. Whilst there he married, his son Kenneth Mathison Young being born on 23 November 1910. In 1911 he returned to Perth to join his father's practice as an assistant, but the following year he went to Canada where he found employment in the offices of E & W S Maxwell and Nobbs & Hyde, both of Montreal. He joined the Territorial Army in 1908 and enlisted in the Black Watch in 1914.

Young's second son Graham Conacher Young, born on 29 March 1892 and educated at Merchiston like his brother, was articled to James Miller in 1909-13, studying at Glasgow School of Architecture. After a brief period with Peter Macgregor Chalmers he returned to his father's office in 1913.

George was admitted FRIBA in June 1914, proposed by the RIBA Council. In the same year Graham Conacher entered the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, enlisting in the 1st Seaforth Highlanders; he was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps and RAF between 1916 and 1919, rising to the rank of Flight Commander in 1918. He remained in active service after the end of the First World War, being seconded to the Royal Tank Corps from 1920 to 1923 and serving with No 2 Armoured Car Company in the Arab rebellion in Mesopotamia in 1920 and 1921. Through the course of his military career he served in France, Egypt, Persia and Iraq. He left the army in 1923, rejoining his father in the following year, although an illness contracted during his military service forced him temporarily to withdraw from practice on various occasions over the course of the ensuing years.

Meanwhile Cedric was in active service until 1920 when he returned to Perth, and he was taken into partnership by his father in 1921, the firm becoming G P K Young & Son. He was admitted ARIBA under the war exemption scheme late that year, his proposers being Patrick Hill Thoms, John James Burnet and William Brown Whitie. Four years later he returned to Canada and worked for McCarter & Nairne in Vancouver, designing the details and art work of the Medical-Dental Building and the Marine Building in Vancouver in 1928-30. McCarter & Nairne's design for the Vancouver Exhibition Association has marked Burnetian characteristics, suggesting that he had a hand in it. He appears to have returned by 1930 or 1931, however, as the RIBA Kalendars for those years give his address as 42 Tay Street, the office of the family firm. A year or two previously, in 1929, Graham Conacher had been taken into partnership, his health having recovered fully by that time.

George Penrose Kennedy Young was President of the RIAS 1926-28, and served on the Council of the Dundee Institute of Architects. He died on 28 October 1933 and was buried at Wellshill Cemetery. His wife had predeceased him on 13 December 1929. Graham Conacher - who had been admitted LRIBA on 1 May 1933, his proposers being William Salmond, Charles Geddes Soutar and Patrick Hill Thoms - continued the practice alone, under the existing name of G P K Young & Son. At the time of George's death, Cedric was again in Canada, but he later returned. Cedric's son Kenneth Mathison Young, had also joined the firm by that time as an assistant, having studied at Edinburgh School of Architecture from 1928 until 1931. Whilst in the office, he continued to attend classes part-time for a further year in Dundee. In 1934 he moved to Edinburgh where he spent a year with James Robertson before moving again to Thurso to work as assistant to Sinclair Macdonald & Son for a year. He returned to the family firm in 1936 and remained there thereafter.

On 10 July 1949 Graham Conacher was elevated to FRIBA, proposed by Donald Alexander Stewart, Robert Matthew Mitchell and another. In the same year, at the outbreak of the Second World War, Kenneth joined the armed forces and served in the Middle East, South East Asia and Europe. He returned to practise at the end of the war and was taken into partnership in April 1946. His later work was principally concerned with hospital buildings in Perthshire and housing for Perth County Council. He was admitted FRIBA in 1955.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 142, Tay Street, Perth, Perthshire, ScotlandBusiness1921(?)After 1955 

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architectural practice (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 13Cedric John Mathison Young19211924Partner 
Item 2 of 13George Penrose Kennedy Young1921(?)1933Partner 
Item 3 of 13John Comrie Todd26 October 19251929Apprentice 
Item 4 of 13James Hutchon (junior)19271931Apprentice 
Item 5 of 13Alastair Stewart Foster8 September 19281932Apprentice 
Item 6 of 13James Douglas Nairn1929After 1936Assistant 
Item 7 of 13Graham Conacher Young1929After 1939Partner 
Item 8 of 13William Caie Walkerc. 1929c. 1930Assistant 
Item 9 of 13Kenneth Mathison Young19311934Apprentice 
Item 10 of 13George Harold Emmett HallSeptember 1935September 1939Apprentice 
Item 11 of 13Kenneth Mathison Young19361939Assistant 
Item 12 of 13George Harold Emmett Hall19451948AssistantDuring vacations
Item 13 of 13Kenneth Mathison YoungApril 1946After 1955Partner 

Buildings and Designs

This architectural practice 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 281924Perth TheatrePerth PerthshireScotlandRestoration after fire
Item 2 of 28After 1929(?)Alterations and additions to business premisesTunbridge Wells KentEnglandMay have been done by Graham Conacher Young in 1925, before he was taken into partnership by his father
Item 3 of 28After 1929(?)House and Tea RoomsLochearnhead PerthshireScotlandMay have been done by Graham Conacher Young in 1925, before he was taken into partnership by his father
Item 4 of 28After 1929Kinfauns Parish ChurchKinfauns PerthshireScotlandFont and lectern - may have been done by Graham Conacher Young in 1925, before he was taken into partnership by his father (thought to be for this church but possibly for Kinfauns Old Parish Church)
Item 5 of 281931Alterations to business premises  GlasgowScotland 
Item 6 of 281931General Accident BuildingLeicester LeicestershireEngland 
Item 7 of 281932Head Office of the General Accident, Fire and Life Assurance Corporation LtdPerth PerthshireScotlandExtensions
Item 8 of 281932Sports pavilion and layout of grounds, Rochay LodgePerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 9 of 281934Auchraw HotelLochearnhead PerthshireScotland 
Item 10 of 281934Business premises  LiverpoolEnglandAlterations
Item 11 of 281934City and County InfirmaryPerth PerthshireScotlandNew operating theatre block and extensions to kitchen block
Item 12 of 281935Alterations to business premisesTunbridge Wells KentEngland 
Item 13 of 281936Business premisesPlymouth DevonEnglandAlterations
Item 14 of 28After 1936Housing for Perth County Council  PerthshireScotland 
Item 15 of 281937Alterations to business premisesExeter DevonEngland 
Item 16 of 281937Block of office buildings, Middle RowMaidstone KentEngland 
Item 17 of 281938Alterations to business premisesSouthampton HampshireEngland 
Item 18 of 281938HattonbraeKinnoull PerthshireScotlandKenneth Mathison Young responsible - designed and built house for himself
Item 19 of 281938House for H J Fraser EsqPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 20 of 281938House for J L Fraser EsqPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 21 of 281938House for William BrownKinross Kinross-shireScotland 
Item 22 of 281946Bridge of Earn HospitalBridge of Earn PerthshireScotlandNew orthopoedic outpatients' department
Item 23 of 281946Perth Royal Infirmary, outpatients' clinicPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 24 of 281946Ten houses for Perth County CouncilAberdalgie PerthshireScotland 
Item 25 of 281955Head Office of the General Accident, Fire and Life Assurance Corporation LtdPerth PerthshireScotlandLarge additions to insurance office
Item 26 of 28c. 1955Housing schemeGuildtown PerthshireScotland 
Item 27 of 28c. 1955Married officers' quarters and soldiers' quarters for Territorial and Auxiliary Armed Forces  PerthshireScotland 
Item 28 of 281965Office block, Perth Road  DundeeScotland 


Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSGPK Young newscutting file (copy of file comp. Mrs Elsie Young, Union Mount, Glasgow Rd, Perth)