Basic Biographical Details

Name: Robert Sorley Lawrie
Born: 27 June 1903
Died: 23 May 1977
Bio Notes: Robert Sorley Lawrie was born on 27 June 1903, in Aberdeen, probably a son of Robert Sorley Lawrie, plumber and his wife, Jennie Robb. He studied at Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen from 1919 to 1921, thereafter entering the office of George Bennett Mitchell where he remained until September 1924. He returned to Robert Gordon's, sitting the qualifying exam in 1925 and was elected ARIBA on 30 November 1925, his proposers being John Alexander Ogg Allan, George Watt and John Wilson Walker.

In June 1929, Lawrie was appointed an assistant architect to the Dublin City Commissioners (See Irish Times, 13 Jun 1929 (‘Dublin Notes’, p.3.): ‘Mr R.S. Lawrie and Mr H.G. Simms have been appointed assistant architects by the Dublin Commissioners at salaries of £280 – £15 - £400). He was an assistant under Horace O'Rourke where he is recorded to have been responsible for the 'major share of the work' of converting Charlemont House into the Municipal Gallery in 1933. He remained in Dublin at least until 1945 but by 1947 had left, returning to Scotland to take up the post of County Architect for Fife, a post which he retained until about 1965 [1961 according to Galletly's list, though he appears in the 1965 RIBA Directory as still in his post] when he retired. He died on 23 May 1977. His wife, Annie Dempster McDowall survived him. They had married on 1 June 1933 in Aberdeen, though at that time Lawrie had been working in Dublin.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 537, Kingshill Avenue , Aberdeen, ScotlandPrivate 1977 
Item 2 of 512, Claremont Street, Aberdeen, ScotlandPrivate1925 *  
Item 3 of 547, Philiphaugh Avenue, Dublin, EirePrivate1933 *  
Item 4 of 524, Old Finglas Road, Dublin, EirePrivate(?)Before 1937Before 1945 
Item 5 of 5County Buildings, St Catherine Street, Cupar, FifeBusiness19471957Architectural Dept

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3George Bennett MitchellJune 1921September 1924Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Dublin City Architect's Department1929(?)After 1945Assistant 
Item 3 of 3Fife County Architect's Departmentc. 19471966Chief ArchitectFife County Architect


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3John Alexander Ogg Allan30 November 1925for Associateship
Item 2 of 3John Wilson Walker30 November 1925for Associateship
Item 3 of 3George Watt30 November 1925for Associateship

Buildings and Designs

This 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 49 Chapel Place Redevelopment, North QueensferryNorth Queensferry FifeScotlandCounty architect
Item 2 of 49 Drumcondra Public LibraryDrumcondra DublinEire 
Item 3 of 49 Phibsborough Public LibraryPhibsborough DublinEire 
Item 4 of 49 Ringsend Public LibraryRingsend DublinEire 
Item 5 of 491933Charlemont House  DublinEireConversion of house into Municipal Gallery
Item 6 of 491937Inchicore Public Library  DublinEire 
Item 7 of 491949Mount Melville HouseSt Andrews FifeScotlandConverted to maternity home - as Fife County Architect
Item 8 of 491950Buckhaven Mining SchoolBuckhaven  ScotlandAs County Architect, prepared plans for extension
Item 9 of 491950Madras College, South StreetSt Andrews FifeScotlandTo prepare plans for £34,000 extension. As County architect but with little practical input.
Item 10 of 491950Police Station  FifeshireScotland 
Item 11 of 491950Primary School, WoodsideWoodside FifeshireScotland 
Item 12 of 491950Public School  FifeshireScotlandAs County architect
Item 13 of 491950School for Infants, OakleyOakley FifeshireScotland 
Item 14 of 491950Secondary School, MarkinchMarkinch FifeScotland 
Item 15 of 491951Sauchenbush, Valley Primary SchoolKirkcaldy FifeshireScotland 
Item 16 of 491952Dunnikier Secondary SchoolDunnikier FifeScotlandNew secondary school
Item 17 of 491952Kirkcaldy High SchoolKirkcaldy FifeScotlandAs Chief Architect, Fife County Council
Item 18 of 491952Kirkcaldy High School, Dunnikier ParkKirkcaldy FifeScotlandAssisted by J E Gordon Halford (project architect in charge) - building was expected to commence in early 1953 - for Phase I
Item 19 of 491952New High School, BuckhavenBuckhaven FifeScotlandPlans prepared for new school - as County Architect with little practical input to design
Item 20 of 491953Pitcorthie Primary SchoolDunfermline FifeScotlandAs County Architect.
Item 21 of 497 August 1953Primary School, Fair Isle RoadKirkcaldy FifeScotlandNew primary school
Item 22 of 494 December 1953Roman Catholic High School  FifeshireScotlandPlans approved for new high school
Item 23 of 494 December 1953Templehall Public SchoolTemplehall FifeshireScotlandExtension
Item 24 of 491955Primary School, Mountfleurie Housing SchemeLeven FifeScotland 
Item 25 of 491955Torryburn Junior Secondary SchoolTorryburn FifeScotlandExtension
Item 26 of 491957Dunfermline High SchoolDunfermline FifeScotlandper Builder 8 Mar 1957 p482; 6 Mar 1959 p478- as Fife County Architect
Item 27 of 491957Primary School, LeucharsLeuchars FifeScotlandFife County Architect - nominally in charge with in practice delegated to project architect
Item 28 of 491957Secondary School at Woodmill RoadDunfermline FifeScotlandAs County Architect - but with little or no design input.
Item 29 of 494 January 1957Branch library, LochgellyLochgelly FifeScotlandCounty Buildings, Cupar. Nominally in charge.
Item 30 of 494 January 1957Burntisland Fire StationBurntisland FifeScotlandas County Architect
Item 31 of 498 February 1957Viewforth Junior Secondary SchoolKirkcaldy FifeScotlandBuilder p293
Item 32 of 4915 February 1957Kirkcaldy High School, Technical and Elementary SchoolsKirkcaldy FifeScotlandCHECK - 'plans in hand for alterations and additions to Kirkcaldy Technical College' per Builder, p 344. Project architects John Ernest Gordon Halford and Dennis Forder
Item 33 of 498 March 1957Nursery SchoolBuckhaven FifeScotlandp482
Item 34 of 4910 May 195736 (thirty-six) housesNorth Queensferry FifeScotlandper Builder p882
Item 35 of 4912 July 1957Cowdenbeath Fire StationCowdenbeath FifeScotlandas County Architect, p87
Item 36 of 491959Torbain Primary SchoolKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 37 of 4920 February 1959Houses, police station and officeKingsbarns FifeScotlandas County Architect per Builder p389
Item 38 of 4929 April 1960Bell-Baxter High SchoolCupar FifeScotlandper Builder p852
Item 39 of 491961Rimbleton Primary SchoolGlenrothes  ScotlandAs County Architect but with little design input.
Item 40 of 4921 April 1961King's Road Primary SchoolRosyth FifeScotlandas County Architect per Builder p780
Item 41 of 4921 April 1961Primary School, CuparCupar FifeScotlandas County Architect per Builder p780
Item 42 of 4921 April 1961St Agatha's RC Chapel SchoolCrossroads (Buckhaven?) FifeScotlandCounty Architect
Item 43 of 4910 November 1961Council HousingBalmullo FifeScotlandas County Architect, Cupar per Builder p906
Item 44 of 491963Madras College, Kilrymont RoadSt Andrews FifeScotlandAs County Architect
Item 45 of 491965Fire Station, Largo RoadSt Andrews FifeScotlandAs County architect - little or no design input.
Item 46 of 491965Old People's CentreMethilhill FifeScotlandIn overall charge but with little design input
Item 47 of 491967St Margaret's Roman Catholic primary schoolFife FifeshireScotland 
Item 48 of 491968Inverkeithing High SchoolInverkeithing FifeScotlandAs County Architect
Item 49 of 491971Agricultural & Technical College, CuparCupar FifeScotlandas County Architect - nominally in charge but Cowieson was the designer.


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 2RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 2 of 2RIBA1965The RIBA Kalendar   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 23Builder5 May 1950  p612
Item 2 of 23Builder19 May 1950  p692
Item 3 of 23Builder26 May 1950  p725
Item 4 of 23Builder10 November 1950  p483
Item 5 of 23Builder17 November 1950  p516
Item 6 of 23Builder9 February 1951  p220
Item 7 of 23Builder25 July 1952  p148
Item 8 of 23Builder29 August 1952  p313
Item 9 of 23Builder19 September 1952  p417
Item 10 of 23Builder7 August 1953  p228
Item 11 of 23Builder6 November 1953  p720
Item 12 of 23Builder4 December 1953  p903
Item 13 of 23Builder26 March 1954  p573
Item 14 of 23Builder14 May 1954  p870
Item 15 of 23Builder11 June 1954  p1051
Item 16 of 23Builder7 January 1955  p36
Item 17 of 23Builder4 January 1957  p34
Item 18 of 23Builder15 February 1957  p 344
Item 19 of 23Builder10 July 1964  p96
Item 20 of 23Builder25 February 1965  p488
Item 21 of 23Builder25 June 1965  p1421
Item 22 of 23Building25 March 1966  p.170
Item 23 of 23Building1 December 1967  p171

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 4GROSRecords of Marriages  
Item 2 of 4H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 3 of 4RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no3854 (microfilm reel 28)
Item 4 of 4School of Architecture, Garthdee, Aberdeen, RGIT: former pupils, 1937-1970Galletly, James