Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||Egon Riss |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||3 August 1901 |
|Died: ||20 March 1964 |
|Bio Notes: ||Egon Riss was born in Austria in 1901. He was of Jewish descent. He was educated in Vienna and completed his studies at the Weiner Technische Hochschule (the Vienna Institute of Technology and Science) in 1923, but at some point in his early career studied at the Bauhaus in Weimar where he became acquainted with Oskar Kokoschka and Paul Klee. He quickly established a reputation by winning a competition for a clinic and health insurance office, followed by a number of other public buildings and private houses of advanced design. He also designed structures in the Silesian coalfields and the Tuberculosis Sanatorium at Lainz, completed 1931. From 1924 he was an elected member of 'ZV' (Zentral Vereinigung der Architekten Osterreich) and from 1936 a member of the Behordlich Beeideter Zivilarchitekt (the Chamber of Engineers Section for Consultants). |
In the 1930s, Riss produced a plan for the centre of Vienna, the principles of which were later adopted, and represented Austria on the Building Council of the League of Nations Sub-Committee for hospital buildings and as a member of the Chamber but in 1938 he had to flee to Britain via Prague to avoid arrest. He was interned in 1939 but the RIBA intervened on his behalf. He was recruited first into the Auxilary Military Pioneer Corps, and then transferred to the Royal Engineers as a sapper. While stationed at Lockerbie he was commissioned as a second lieutenant. At the end of the war, he was briefly on the staff of the Architectural Association in London and in the office of Robert Furneaux-Jordan. He was elected FRIBA on 27 November 1949. his proposers being Robert Furneaux Jordan, R E Southorn and Anthony M Fintry.
After the war he obtained a post with the Miners' Welfare Fund from which he transferred in 1947 to the National Coal Board's Scottish Division as Chief Production Architect. He was responsible for the monumental modernist structures of the new pits at Bilston Glen, completed 1952, Killoch, 1953 and Rothes, 1957, all with tall rectangular winding towers. He died on 20 March 1964: his pits at Seafield and Monktonhall were not completed until after his death. He was survived by his two daughters.
Some biographical details came from John Rochards who worked under Egon Riss at the Coal Board.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|Vienna, Austria||Private/business|| || || |
|Sherwood House, Munro Drive, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private||1947||1964|| |
|National Coal Board Offices, London, England||Business||1949 *|| || |
|16, Wessex Gardens, London, England||Private||c. 1949|| || |
|Edinburgh, Scotland||Business||1950s|| ||In Coal Board offices|
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architect:|
|Gifford, John, McWilliam, Colin and Walker, David M||1984||Edinburgh (The Buildings of Scotland)|| ||Harmondsworth: Penguin Books Ltd||p583|
|Glendinning, Miles||1997||Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75 || ||Tuckwell Press Ltd||p18-19, 20-21, 152, 168|
|Pride, Glen L||1999||The Kingdom of Fife||2nd Edition||The Rutland Press||p69|
|The following periodicals contain references to this architect:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Builder||27 March 1964|| || ||p641 - obituary|
|RIBA Journal||May 1964|| ||London: Royal Institute of British Architects||Obituary|
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum||RIBA Nomination Papers|| ||F no 4491 (Combined Box 17)|