Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||Gordon Buchanan Biggar |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||2 June 1915 |
|Died: ||12 September 1991 |
|Bio Notes: ||Gordon Buchanan Biggar was born on 2 June 1915, the son of John Lang Biggar, printer's designer and his wife Mary Reid Smith. He was educated at the High School of Glasgow. He commenced the diploma course at Glasgow School of Architecture in September 1932. For three years he was a full-time student, but for the remaining period he was part-time, working as an apprentice in the office of Wylie Shanks & Wylie from 1934-36 but then in the latter years joining the Architect's Section of the City Engineer's office as an assistant. He sat the professional practice exam in December 1937 and was awarded the diploma with distinction in June 1938. He was admitted ARIBA in 1938, his proposers being Thomas Harold Hughes, William James Smith and H Gilmour. |
The following year, 1939, he took a post as second assistant to George A Boswell. However the war intervened and he spent the years of the war with Sir William Arrol as architect and site engineer and was posted to various different locations around the country, in both England and Scotland. In 1946 he was appointed Architect to the Burgh of Dollar where he designed new housing and planned the future development of the town. He transferred to a similar post in Alva in 1952 where again he was responsible for planning future development as well as designing private houses which at the time of his Fellowship application to the RIBA were 'in hand'.
He also was architect to the Stirlingshire Clackmannanshire and Kinross Territorial & Auxiliary Forces Association. In this capacity he designed TA Centres, married quarters, drill halls, shooting ranges, gragages and other buildings over the area. In 1948 he was appointed consulting architect with the master of works to the Governors of Dollar Academy, a permanent appointment.
At some point he became a partner with John Melvin & Son in Alloa. After the death of both of the other partners in the practice within a year of one another, he became sole principal and remained as such until his retirement in 1986. The firm was then wound up.
The practice largely worked in Alloa and Stirling. It was a general practice. An important client was the Decca Navigator Company for which the practice did the gorund installation work both in the UK and abroad.
Biggar was elected FRIBA in 1963, proposed by William James Smith, Frederick Robert Wylie and George Frederick Shanks. He served as Vice President of the RIAS and was President of the Stirling Chapter. His interests ouside work were golf and gardening.
In the RIAS collection at NMRS there is a collection of his student drawings which date from between 1935 and 1938.
He died on 12 September 1991, survived by his wife Janet Dalgleish Hay and at least one son.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|Mar Street, Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland||Business|| || || |
|8, Cluny Gardens, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private|| ||1991|| |
Employment and Training
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architect:|
|RIBA||1950||The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951|| ||London: Royal Institute of British Architects|| |
|RIBA||1970||RIBA Directory 1970|| || || |
|The following periodicals contain references to this architect:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Builder||18 August 1961|| || ||'Civic Trust Design Awards, 1960 - Results of Competitions in the County Boroughs, The Awards, Scotland' pp304-305 - served as assessor for Greenock projects|
|RIAS Newsletter||October 1991||v3, no2|| ||Obituary|
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|H M Register House||Death Register|| || |
|RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum||RIBA Nomination Papers|| ||A no6878, F no94780 (Combined Box 35)|