Basic Biographical Details

Name: Alexander Robert Fordyce Anderson
Designation: Architect
Born: 15 May 1906
Died: 21 October 1963
Bio Notes: Alexander Robert Fordyce Anderson was born in Dundee on 15 May 1906 and studied at the Architectural Association Schools from October 1923 to July 1925. In September of the latter year he entered the office of Maclaren Soutar & Salmond in Dundee as an apprentice, and he remained there until March 1929 when he returned to London, joining Wimperis, Simpson & Guthrie as assistant. He passed the final exam in December 1931 and was admitted ARIBA early the following year, his proposers being William Salmond, Charles Geddes Soutar and Leonard Rome Guthrie. The Depression caused him to move to Dublin as assistant to W H Byrne at some point in 1931.

Anderson returned to London in 1933, forming a partnership with E Forster, EA Warren and J W Wilcox in 1934, initially in one large room in Pall Mall, moving to New Square, Lincolnís Inn as the practice grew. The practice had to be suspended at the beginning of the Second World War when most of the partners were called up, Anderson himself joining the Ministry of Aircraft Production.

After the Second World War the practice reopened at New Square as Anderson Forster & Wilcox. Warren had died in the evacuation of St Nazaire. The post war years were spent mainly on repairs and reconstruction of war damage, notably at Lincolnís Inn, the largest commissions for new buildings being the Daily Mirror Building at Holburn Circus designed in association with Sir Owen Williams, and Orbit House in New Fetter Lane.

Anderson was admitted FRIBA in 1943. He was a prominent member of the RIBA, visiting the Hong Kong School to report on its suitability for recognition, and of the Architectural Association, rising to be President of its Council. He was in demand for arbitration work, notably in a dispute between the Emir of Saudi Arabia and a British firm of contractors over the building of the Emirís palace and harem complex. Contemporaries described him as a Colonel Blimp-like figure with a briar pipe who was in fact a radical who did not suffer fools: he nevertheless had a marked affection for cranks and eccentrics. He died suddenly on 21 October 1963.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 14, Bingham Terrace, Dundee, ScotlandPrivate1932 *  

* 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 4Maclaren Soutar SalmondSeptember 1925March 1929Apprentice 
Item 2 of 4Wimperis, Simpson & GuthrieApril 1929After January 1932Assistant 
Item 3 of 4Anderson, Forster, Warren & Wilcox19341939Partner 
Item 4 of 4Anderson Forster & WilcoxAfter 1945 Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Leonard Rome GuthrieEarly 1932for Associateship
Item 2 of 3William SalmondEarly 1932for Associateship
Item 3 of 3Charles Geddes SoutarEarly 1932for Associateship


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Journal1963v70London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp522

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 no4849 (combined box 39); F no3970 (box 30)