© All rights reserved. Courtesy of John Donald 

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Donald
Designation: Architect
Born: 1947
Bio Notes: John Donald was born in 1947 at Glenluce, Wigtownshire, the second son of John Hutcheon Donald, architect, and his wife Jane Hughes. He was educated at Wick High School and Robert Gordon’s College, Aberdeen. He studied architecture at the Scottish Sutherland School in Aberdeen from 1964-1970 and was awarded his diploma in 1970. In 1969 he won the Mary Byrne Travelling Scholarship. During his ‘year out’ in the session 1967-68 he worked in Aberdeen City Architects Department, as assistant to John Merson who was in charge of several large housing developments. From 1970-72 he studied for the degree of MSc in Rural and Regional Planning at the University of Aberdeen. On the completion of this degree course he worked as an assistant with Moira & Moira in Edinburgh. He was admitted ARIBA and ARIAS in 1974.

In 1976 Donald opened business on his own account in partnership with his wife, Marion Coats McClure, also an architect whom he had married in 1972. The couple had two children, James, a project manager with offshore windfarms and Christina, a solicitor. The practice continued until 2006.

John and Marion Donald were both members of the North-East Group of the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (AHSS), in which architectural historian Dr William Alvis Brogden had a leading role. In 1984, the Donalds collaborated with Brogden on several architectural competitions including the Macleod Centre Iona (entry selected for exhibition in London, New York, Glasgow and Aberdeen), the presentation drawings for which were prepared by Aberdeen School of Architecture student Malcolm Mackay. The collaboration between the Donalds and Brogden was formalised in the establishment of the Castlegate Design Group to put into practice the conservation principles of the AHSS. Castlegate Design Group ran concurrently with that of John & Marion Donald until the former’s closure in 2002.

Besides running his practices, John Donald held a series of teaching posts at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, being a Lecturer from 1974-1991, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head from 1991-1998, Acting Head from 1998-2000 and Deputy Head of the School (Architecture & Surveying) from 2001-2002. He held a Tertiary Level Teaching Certificate which he gained at the Robert Gordon University in 1993. He was elevated to FRIAS in 2000.

Outwith his professional life, John is interested in history, gardening, reading and collecting books.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1177B, Queen's Road, Aberdeen, ScotlandPrivate/business1970s  

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 4Aberdeen City Architect's Department (later City of Aberdeen District Council Architects Division)19671968AssistantAs assistant to John Merson, working on large housing developments; George McIntosh Keith was City Architect
Item 2 of 4Moira & Moira19721974Assistant 
Item 3 of 4John and Marion Donald19762006Partner 
Item 4 of 4Castlegate Design Group19842002Partner 

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 271970Hill Farm Research Origanisation Headquarters, The Bush Estate  EdinburghScotlandJob architect
Item 2 of 271971Hanover Square HousingStranraer WigtownshireScotlandJob architect
Item 3 of 271972Moredun Research Institute  EdinburghScotlandPathology block, workshops and extension to Microbiology Unit - one of job architects
Item 4 of 271976Seacroft, DowniesPortlethen KincardineshireScotland 
Item 5 of 271977260 Queen's Road  AberdeenScotlandGarden room extension.
Item 6 of 271978Dale Cottage, Belvedere LaneCults AberdeenshireScotlandAlterations and extensions.
Item 7 of 271979General Post Office  AberdeenScotlandConversion to offices - working with Moira, Moira & Wann.
Item 8 of 271979Home FarmMaryculter KincardineshireScotlandExtension and conservatory.
Item 9 of 27198027 Marchbank RoadCults AberdeenshireScotlandArtist's studio.
Item 10 of 271981287 King's Gate  AberdeenScotlandExtensions.
Item 11 of 271982Gavelcruive, 177b Queen's Road  AberdeenScotland 
Item 12 of 271983Garage and car showroom, LochcroftNigg Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 13 of 271984207 Queen's Road  AberdeenScotlandAlterations and conservatory.
Item 14 of 271984Provost Young's House  AberdeenScotlandRestoration and conversion to flats.
Item 15 of 271985Attitude shopfront, Union Street  AberdeenScotland 
Item 16 of 271985Eastside FarmhouseMaryculter AberdeenshireScotlandAlterations and extensions.
Item 17 of 271985InvercraigKingswells AberdeenshireScotlandGarden room extension.
Item 18 of 2719865 Royfold Crescent  AberdeenScotlandExtension.
Item 19 of 271987Rotunda Place, Polmuir Road  AberdeenScotlandAlterations to facade and extension.
Item 20 of 271988Burnbrae, Contlaw RoadMilltimber AberdeenScotlandExtension.
Item 21 of 271988The College of ScalanBraes of Glenlivet BanffshireScotlandRepairs.
Item 22 of 27198926 Abbotshall PlaceCults AberdeenshireScotlandRefurbishment and extension.
Item 23 of 271989Roof extension to listed cottageCatterline AberdeenshireScotlandRoof extension (at '22 Catterline') - with Ernie Smith.
Item 24 of 271990Farm steadingDrumblade, Huntly AberdeenshireScotlandConversion to house.
Item 25 of 271993Rosevalley Cottar House, CothalDyce AberdeenshireScotlandReconstruction and extension including glazed rhododendron house.
Item 26 of 271996House, Pembroke PlaceRoseburn EdinburghScotlandAddition of garden room
Item 27 of 272001Replacement house at Forbes LodgeStrathdon AberdeenshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1Allen, Nic (ed.) Scottish Architects in Conservation  p33

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Courtesy of John DonaldInformation sent via DSA website  


© All rights reserved. Courtesy of John Donald 

© All rights reserved. Courtesy of John Donald