Basic Biographical Details

Name: L J Couves & Partners
Designation: Architectural practice
Bio Notes: The practice was founded in Newcastle in 1923 by Leonard James Couves, FRIBA (1878-1951). He was born and trained in Gravesend and worked in Enfield before moving to Newcastle to work for Merz & McLennan 1915-1923 who were electrical engineers with much work on Tyneside including the electrification of the suburban railways. As a result Couves' own practice specialised in designing electrical projects and in industrial buildings.

Couves' best known building was Carliol House, the Newcastle HQ of the North East Electric Supply Company on which he collaborated with Sir John Burnet, Tait & Lorne 1930-32. Couves' brother was General Manager of NEESCO which perhaps helped secure this commission. Probably he was supervising the construction because he was a specialist in modern steel frame construction techniques after a visit to the USA.

Leonard's son Dudley Leonard Couves, Dip Arch (Newcastle), FRIBA (1910-1988) became senior partner in 1951. The firm benefitted from the rash of new power stations which were built after WWII. When this work dried up the firm moved into transport projects including Newcastle Metro, Newcastle Airport and the Heathrow Rapid Link and also the Metro Shopping Centre in Gateshead. Non family members came in as partners especially after Dudley largely retired in 1969 and the firm was restyled Couves Ltd in 1989. The practice was still operating in 1992, but it seems to have closed by c2000.

Biographical note researched and written by Graham Potts, August 2012.

Buildings and Designs

This architectural practice 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 11955Chapelcross Nuclear Power StationAnnan DumfriesshireScotlandAs associate architects


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 1Gifford, John1996Dumfries and Galloway (The Buildings of Scotland)  p181

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Builder1951v181 p94
Item 2 of 2RIBA JournalOctober 1988v95London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp103

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Courtesy of Graham PottsInformation sent via 'Contact Us' on website