Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Kirkwood
Designation: Architect
Born: 26 January 1917
Bio Notes: James Kirkwood was born in Fairlie, Largs, Ayrshire on 26 January 1917, the son of John Alexander Kirkwood, master baker, and his wife Elizabeth Crawford. He was articled to Gillepsie Kidd & Coia from May 1936 until September 1939 while at the same time studying part-time at Glasgow School of Architecture. His studies were interrupted by war service during which he reached the rank of Major, RSF Infantry. On demobilisation he spent two years studying for his diploma at Glasgow School of Architecture which he was awarded in May 1948. He was elected ARIBA on 14 December of that year, his proposers being James Taylor, Jack Coia and Graham Henderson. He was workng as an assistant to Taylor in Glasgow at that time.

In 1949 Kirkwood took as post as senior assistant with Palmer & Turner, architects, Singapore and was in full charge of a number of major projects. From 1952 he worked as a senior assistant with Swan & McLaren who had jobs in Burma, Malaysia, North Borneo and Sarawak, and in 1955 he was taken into partnership. He was still working there when admitted FRIBA on 7 October 1958, proposed by W Irving Watson and two others. His nomination papers list works in Singapore including the $3.5m Crosby House, the Commercial Union Assurance Building, the American International Assurance Building, and a number of telephone exchanges.

He retired in the mid-1970s and returned to Great Britain, to live in Surrey.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 41, Clairmont Gardens, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1948 *  
Item 2 of 4Hong Kong Bank Chambers/GPO Box 569, Singapore, SingaporeBusinessBefore 1953After 1970Offices of Swan & Maclaren
Item 3 of 471 Cathay Building, Singapore, SingaporePrivate1958 *  
Item 4 of 4Meadowfield/3, Gates Lane, HAselmere, Surrey, EnglandPrivate1985 *  

* 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 4Gillespie Kidd & CoiaMay 1936September 1939Apprentice 
Item 2 of 4Palmer & Turner19491952Senior Assistant 
Item 3 of 4Swan & Maclaren19521955Senior Assistant 
Item 4 of 4Swan & Maclaren1955After 1958Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 4Jack Antonio Coia14 December 1948for Associateship
Item 2 of 4Andrew Graham Henderson14 December 1948for Associateship
Item 3 of 4James Taylor14 December 1948for Associateship
Item 4 of 4William Irving Watson7 October 1958for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Richard Gemmill Jones2 October 1968For Fellowship
Item 2 of 3Rolf Koren21 June 1960for Fellowship
Item 3 of 3James Nisbet Lockerbie6 February 1962for Fellowship


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 4RIBA1948The RIBA Kalendar 1948-1949 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 2 of 4RIBA1954RIBA Kalendar 1953-54   
Item 3 of 4RIBA1961Kalendar 1960-61   
Item 4 of 4RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no 10126; F no 5354 (combined box 73)