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Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||James Moffatt Aitken |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||25 June 1908 |
|Died: ||February 1970 |
|Bio Notes: ||James Moffatt Aitken was born on 25 June 1908, perhaps a descendent of James Aitken who was the partner of William Lambie Moffatt in the 1870s. He was articled to Lyle & Constable in 1923 and studied at the School of Architecture, Edinburgh College of Art and Heriot-Watt College from 1924. On completing his apprenticeship in 1927 he remained with Lyle & Constable for a further year as assistant before joining the Edinburgh City Architect's Department as technical assistant to the City Architect, Ebenezer James MacRae. He obtained exemptions from the intermediate RIBA exam in 1929, and from the final exam in 1936. He was admitted ARIBA on 8 March 1937, his proposers being MacRae, John Begg and Arthur Forman Balfour Paul. His declaration accepting his admittance was witnessed by William Gordon Dey, a colleague in the City Architect's Department. Aitken was also a member of the Edinburgh Architectural Association. |
In that same year he moved to Dublin, joining the staff of the Office of Public Works. He was appointed principal chief assistant to Denis Winston, chief architect of the Northern Ireland Ministry of Health and Local Government, and succeeded to the latter post in 1947 after Winston moved to Australia to become Chair of Town and Country Planning at the University of Sydney.
Aitken remained in the same post thereafter, with the exception of a few weeks during 1957 when the Ministry released him so that he could act as planning assessor at a public enquiry being held in connection with the St Andrews development plan. In 1963 he became chief planning officer to the Ministry of Development, and he led the design team for the new city of Craigavon.
Aitken died in February 1970.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|19, Perth Street, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private||1937 *|| || |
|25, Merrion Square, Dublin, Eire||Business||1939 *|| || |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
|The following books contain references to this architect:|
|RIBA||1939||The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940|| ||London: Royal Institute of British Architects|| |
|Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA)||1952||RSUA Jubilee Yearbook 1951-52|| || ||Group photograph, facing p 37|
|Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA)||1971||RSUA Yearbook 1970-1971|| || ||p 76 - obituary|
|The following periodicals contain references to this architect:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Irish Builder||26 February 1944||No 86|| ||p 84 - biography and portrait photograph|
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|Irish Architectural Archive||Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720-1940|| || |
|RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum||RIBA Nomination Papers|| ||A no6291 (combined box 130)|
© All rights reserved. Aitken to right. Courtesy of Steven Robb