Basic Biographical Details

Name: William Archy Macdonald
Designation: Architect
Born: 4 February 1902
Died: 26 April 1979
Bio Notes: William Archy Macdonald was born at Castlebay, Barvis, Barra on 4 February 1902, the son of Angus Macdonald, inspector of poor, and his wife, Maggie MacLean who were married in North Uist in 1893. He studied architecture at Glasgow School of Art from 1920 or 1922 (sources vary). During the same period he was articled in the practice of H & D Barclay in Glasgow and was under the supervision of Colin Sinclair. On completion of the course at the College and his articles he took a post with Inverness County Education Authority.

He emigrated to South Africa to take up a position as a lecturer in building and architectural subjects at East London Technical College. In January 1929 he moved to join the Architectural Section of the Public Works Department in Pretoria as a temporary assistant. He was promoted to senior assistant in 1931 and in 1935 became assistant architect, 2nd grade.

In 1941 he was admitted to the South African Institute of Architects after passing the qualifying examination at the University of Witwatersrand two year earlier. In 1947 he became Assistant Chief Government Architect, Pretoria (and the following year was elected ARIBA). In this post he was responsible for the design of a number of large public buildings including the Central Government Offices in Pretoria, the General Post Office in Johannesberg and later additions, the automatic Telephone Exchange in Pretoria, the General Post Office in Bloemfontein, the Revenue Office in East London and the Government Offices in Umtala. He later rose to become Chief Government Architect.

He was elected FRIBA in 1948, nominated by the RIBA Council.

In 1955 he made a trip to Scotland.

He died after a short illness on 26 April 1979. He was survived by his wife, Lorna.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2Kilberry, Meintjeskop, Pretoria, South AfricaPrivate1965 *After 1970 
Item 2 of 2PO Box 381/3, Beaconsfield, Plettenberg Bay, South AfricaPrivate1979 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 4RIBA1965The RIBA Kalendar   
Item 2 of 4RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   
Item 3 of 4RIBA1979Directory of members   
Item 4 of Website of artefacts, for the recording of South African buildingsAccessed 03/12/2010

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Oban Times10 September 1955   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2National Archives (via Scotlands People)Statutory births  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F no 4346 (Combined Box 9)