Basic Biographical Details

Name: Alexander Lawrence Chapman
Designation: Architect
Born: 22 February 1881
Died: 12 August 1935
Bio Notes: Alexander Lawrence Chapman was born in Montrose on 22 February 1881 and educated at Montrose Academy. He was articled to David Wishart Galloway of Brechin for four years from 19 April 1897, and remained for a few further months as assistant, studying at the Technical College, Montrose. He then joined James Hendry Langlands Senior of Dundee as assistant 'in full charge of his office', but stayed for only a few months before emigrating to South Africa in August 1902. There he entered the office of Milne & Sladdin of Cape Town, leaving after a short period there to join Cape Government Railways as a draughtsman. He took a course in the graphical treatment of structure at the South African College, Cape Town in 1905. In 1910 he transferred to South African Railways in Johannesburg, working under the chief Railway Architect David Aitken McCubbin, where he became Acting Assistant Architect in 1924 and Assistant Architect in 1926. Whilst in that office he undertook further studies, attending a course in the design of reinforced concrete structures at Transvaal University College in 1914. He was still working in the same office when he was admitted LRIBA in late 1930 or early 1931, his proposers being McCubbin, Sydney Charles Dowsett and Walter Reid. He was a member of the Institute of South African Architects and of the Chapter of Quantity Surveyors (South Africa), and of the Association of Architects' Surveyors and Technical Assistants in London.

Chapman remained working for the South African Railways for the rest of his career. He died on 12 August 1935.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1103, Berea Road, Judith's Paarl, Johannesburg, South AfricaPrivate1930  

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 8David Wishart Galloway19 April 189718 April 1901Apprentice 
Item 2 of 8David Wishart Galloway18 April 19011901 or 1902Assistant 
Item 3 of 8James Hendry Langlands (senior)1901 or 1902August 1902AssistantIn full charge of office
Item 4 of 8Milne & Sladdinc. August 1902c. 1903Draughtsman(?) 
Item 5 of 8Cape Government Railways Architectural Departmentc. 19031910Draughtsman 
Item 6 of 8South African Railways Chief Civil Engineer's Department, Architectural Branch19101924DraughtsmanWorking under David Aitken McCubbin
Item 7 of 8South African Railways Chief Civil Engineer's Department, Architectural Branch19241926Acting AssistantWorking under David Aitken McCubbin
Item 8 of 8South African Railways Chief Civil Engineer's Department, Architectural Branch1926After 1930AssistantWorking under David Aitken McCubbin


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Sydney Charles DowsettLate 1930 or early 1931for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 3David Aitken McCubbinLate 1930 or early 1931for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 3Walter ReidLate 1930 or early 1931for Licentiateship


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of Website of artefacts, for the recording of South African buildingsAccessed 2010

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 L no3812 (box 16)