Basic Biographical Details

Name: Bernard Vincent Kenneth Cottier
Designation: Architect
Born: 14 October 1925(?)
Died: 25 October 2015
Bio Notes: Bernard Vincent Kenneth Cottier (‘Ken’) was born on 14 October 1925 in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. He began his training at Burslem School of Art in 1944 and subsequently studied through an Andrew Grant Scholarship at Edinburgh College of Art. His training was interrupted by National Service which was spent with the Royal Engineers at the Survey Training Centre, Longleat. He returned to College, qualifying in 1952, and was elected ARIBA and ARIAS in 1953. During the course he was awarded a scholarship for the study of Swedish architecture in 1949 and served as an Edinburgh representative on the British School at Rome Archaeological survey of Leptis Magna in Tripoli. He received an Honourable mention in the RIAS Rowand Anderson prize in 1952 and was awarded an Andrew Grant Travelling Scholarship to study in Scandinavia.

Cottier’s first post after qualification was with Midlothian County Council, moving to the Department of Health for Scotland Housing Research Unit, but returning to Midlothian where he became Principal Assistant in 1958. He was short-listed for Angus County Architect post in December 1959. However he remained with Midlothian and was appointed Deputy Architect for Education in 1963 and Midlothian County Architect the following year. He was elected FRIAS in 1965.

He was responsible for a wide range of work including substantial education, housing, social work, industrial and police building programmes. He was involved in planning the amalgamation of the separate counties of West and East Lothian and Midlothian in to Lothian Regional in 1975. He was the first Director of Architectural Services with responsibility for all main local authority building works, except for housing up to his retirement in 1982.

Cottier served on a variety of committees in connection with his profession. He was President of the EAA from 1969 to 1971 (his tenure of the post giving him a greater understanding of the relationship between the professions and the isolated position the architect can often find himself in due to his conflicting responsibilities), a Governor of Edinburgh College of Art from 1968 to 1970, Chairman of The Scottish Country, City and Burgh Architects Joint Association and Chairman of the RIAS Committee on Reorganisation of Local Government in 1975.

He was particularly pleased by the significant role played by the EAA in the conservation of Georgian Edinburgh. A team of over 200 architects, surveyors, engineers photographers and others carried out a survey of the external fabric of about 5,000 properties in the New Town over a two-year period on behalf of the Scottish Civic Trust. A conference committee was formed, chaired by Sir Robert Matthew. The survey played an important role in decisions taken at the major New Town conference in Edinburgh in June 1970.

As a person Cottier was modest and unassuming. He retired to Dunkeld and died on 25 October 2015.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 328, Pilrig Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1953 *  
Item 2 of 343, Eastfield, Joppa, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1955After 1965 
Item 3 of 36, Hope Place, Levenhall, Musselburgh, East Lothian|Midlothian, ScotlandPrivate1970  

* 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 2Midlothian County Council Architect's Department(?)1960(?)Assistant Architect 
Item 2 of 2Lothian Region Department of Architectural Services1979 Director 

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 21964New Craigshill SchoolLivingston Midlothian/West LothianScotland 
Item 2 of 21967Craigshill Secondary SchoolLivingston West LothianScotlandAs county architect


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3RIBA1964The RIBA Kalendar 1964-65   
Item 2 of 3RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   
Item 3 of 3RIBA1979Directory of members   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Builder11 December 1959  'Angus County Architect' p878
Item 2 of 3Builder11 September 1964  p571
Item 3 of 3RIAS Quarterly2016SpringRoyal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) 

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIAS, Rutland SquareRecords of membership