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Basic Biographical Details

Name: David Bain
Designation: Architect
Born: 29 August 1926
Died: 2 May 2009(?)
Bio Notes: David Bain was born on 29 August 1926, the son of a Penicuik stone mason. Although he was going to join the merchant navy, his talent for drawing was spotted by one of his teachers who encouraged him and he decided to study architecture. He was articled to Tarbolton & Ochterlony and studied at the School of Architecture, Edinburgh College of Art. His studies would appear to have been interrupted by the War, toward the end of which he served as an able seaman on HMS Illustrious, repatriating members of the Australian and New Zealand armed forces.

On demobilisation he returned to his studies and was awarded his diploma in 1949. He was admitted ARIBA in 1950. His address at this date was in Penicuik. By 1957 he had joined the practice of Basil Spence & Partners, where he worked on various projects including Kilsyth Academy and the Scottish Widows building in St Andrew's Square.

In the early 1960s Bain worked for a short time for Eric Hall & Partners before joining the Edinburgh office of the British Aluminium Company. He transferred to the London headquarters of the company two years later and, with his wife and four small daughters, settled in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. From 1974 he was appointed Chief Architect of British Aluminium, in which post he handled a wide range of building and civil engineering work throughout the UK. He may have had a small private practice from his home in the later 1980s.

Bain took an active interest in contemporary architecture throughout his life. He also enjoyed drawing, playing the piano and supporting Scottish rugby.

He died at home on 2 May 2009. His wife Elizabeth had predeceased him in 1990 but he is survived by his four daughters.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3148, John Street, Penicuik, Midlothian, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)1950 *After 1954 
Item 2 of 348, Barnton Park Gardens, Barnton, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1964 *  
Item 3 of 3Wivenhoe, Beech Grove, Amersham, Buckinghamshire, EnglandPrivate1970 *After 1987 

* 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 5Tarbolton & Ochterlony  Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5Basil Spence & PartnersBefore 1957Before 1965AssistantIn Edinburgh office.
Item 3 of 5Eric Hall & Partners (Eric W Hall & Partners)After 1960Before 1965Assistant 
Item 4 of 5British Aluminium Company Architects DepartmentBefore 1970 Architect 
Item 5 of 5British Aluminium Company Architects Department1974 Chief Architect 

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 31952Scottish School of Art & IndustryKilsyth StirlingshireScotlandCompletion of project, working for Basil Spence & Partners
Item 2 of 31958Scottish Widows Head Office  EdinburghScotlandWith Spence practice.
Item 3 of 31969Aluminium SmelterInvergordon Ross and CromartyScotlandworking for the British Aluminium Company


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp96-7 Kilsyth Academy
Item 2 of 2RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1RIAS Chartered Architectbetween 2008 and 2009  p26

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Sent to DSA by emailInformation from AHRC/RCAHMS Spence project per David W Walker and Clive Fenton Clive Fenton's research notes (sent July 2010)


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© All rights reserved.