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Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Archibald Campbell
Designation: Architect
Born: 26 January 1859
Died: 19 July 1909
Bio Notes: John Archibald Campbell was born at 20 Park Circus, Anderston, Glasgow on 26 January 1859, the son of Archibald Campbell, merchant, and his wife Grace Victoria Gibson: his paternal grandfather was William Campbell of Tullichewan, a connection which brought a number of commissions in and around Alexandria, and he was a cousin of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. His father died aged 35 on 9 January 1861 when he was barely two years old. He was educated privately, probably because his mother travelled a great deal on the continent, taking her children with her: this brought a useful command of languages and from an early age he was fluent in both French and German. John Archibald Campbell lived with his mother and unmarried sister Agnes until setting up house at 7 Charing Cross Mansions.

In 1877 Campbell was articled to John Burnet Senior at the age of eighteen. There he was befriended by John James Burnet who returned from Pascal's atelier in Paris in the autumn of that year. In 1880 he followed Burnet to Pascal's atelier and was admitted to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He returned to the Burnet practice in 1883, and in 1885 he won the Tite prize. On 13 August 1886 the Burnets took him into partnership, the practice title becoming John Burnet, Son & Campbell: prior to that date he had begun to introduce new business to the firm, notably the large church at Shawlands on which he had Andrew Robb Scott, formerly of Rennison & Scott, as a draughtsman.

Of the younger Burnet and Campbell partnership, obituaries record that they collaborated on competition work but on very little else: nevertheless Campbell's style as seen at the Ewing Gilmour Institute in Alexandria was virtually indistinguishable from Burnet's during the ten-year period of their partnership which was dissolved by mutual consent in 1897. Of that event both Edith Burnet Hughes and Alfred Lochhead observed that 'drink had something to do with it' - Burnet had no patience with those who drank too much although he had endured Scott's drinking because of the quality of his work - but the probability must be that Campbell had felt too much overshadowed by Burnet: a hint of that appears in a mischievous joint article which was published in 'Quiz' on 28 September 1893. The catalyst may have been the commission for the British Workmen's and General Insurance Building which, although in some degree indebted to Burnet's Athenaeum Theatre opposite, clearly established Campbell as a brilliant designer in his own right with a style subtly different from Burnet's.

In the corner block on Hope Street and West George Street of 1902-3, Campbell demonstrated that he was more than equal to Burnet in the design of commercial buildings at that point in time, and as Burnet became increasingly preoccupied with his London practice from 1905 Campbell thereafter was rivalled only by James Miller and Burnet Boston & Carruthers as the leading designer of city office blocks in Glasgow.

Campbell was somewhat belatedly admitted FRIBA on 11 June 1906, his proposers being Burnet - with whom he had remained on friendly terms - and John Keppie, David Barclay and C J MacLean. His then chief assistant Alexander David Hislop (and others) remembered him as being tall, handsome, considerate and courteous, if somewhat reserved: apart from reminiscences about his continental travels with his sister and mother (who died on 6 June 1905) he told Hislop very little about himself. It is perhaps significant that the paragraph allocated to him in Glasgow Contemporaries had to be left blank and that he did not appear in 'Who's Who in Glasgow' at all in 1909, but his portrait in 'Quiz' in 1893 shows that at that date he was bearded and had a somewhat French appearance. He never married, living in a bachelor flat in Charing Cross Mansions; apart from professional practice his main interests were travel and golf, for which, about 1903, he built a fine house, Brannochlie, at Bridge of Weir for himself and three other bachelor golfing friends: most of his domestic clients were golfers, notably at Bridge of Weir and within his own immediate circle he was said to have been extremely hospitable.

By 1908 Campbell had begun to develop health problems, a combination of excessive hours, particularly on competition designs, and hard living: in that year he had a major disappointment when he was placed first for the Scottish National Exhibition in Edinburgh, only for the result to be overturned because the assessor was his former partner Burnet. His chief assistant Alexander David Hislop, born in 1876 and previously a shared apprentice of Alexander Nisbet Paterson and William James Anderson, was then taken into partnership and inherited the practice after Campbell died of cirrhotic kidney disease at his sister's house, 7 Greenhill Terrace, Morningside, Edinburgh on 19 July 1909.

The statement in A Stuart Gray's 'Edwardian Architecture; A Biographical Dictionary' that Campbell worked in association with the German-American architect Otto Pullich is not correct. It arises fro Campbell's obituary in 'The Builder' (31 July 1909) where the editor confused Campbell with his exact namesake John Archibald Campbell (1878-1948), a native of Wolverhampton who practised in Dresden and Berlin before the First World War (see Alan Powers: 'John Campbell: Rediscovery of an Arts and Crafts Architect', Prince of Wales Institute of Architecture (1997)).
There is an older item of misinformation from an equally reliable source in relation to the South Kensington competition of 1891. Although there is a clear reference to Burnet and Campbell preparing separate submissions for this in Theodore Fyfe's memoir of Burnet in the RIBA Journal of 15 September 1938 - he was in the office at the time and must have at least seen drawings - Burnet Son & Campbell are not among the limited entrants listed by Harper in 'Victorian Architecture Competitions' or in John Physick's detailed account of the competition in 'The Victoria & Albert Museum: The History of the Building' (1982); nor can it be the Imperial Institute in South Kensington where the entrants were limited to six. Fyfe's memory must have been at fault: probably the schemes for the Art Galleries at Kelvingrove were what he actually saw.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 6167, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness18861897 
Item 2 of 616, Woodside Crescent, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1888  
Item 3 of 644, West George Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1897c. 1905 
Item 4 of 6124, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessc. 19051909 
Item 5 of 620, Charing Cross Mansions, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1909 *  
Item 6 of 67, Charing Cross Mansions, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1909Before 1909 

* 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 3John Burnet (senior)18771880Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Burnet Son & Campbell13 August 18861897Partner 
Item 3 of 3Campbell & Hislop19081909Partner 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 13John Arthur18971900Chief Assistant 
Item 2 of 13Andrew Edwin Martin18981901Assistant 
Item 3 of 13Alexander Cameron Todd19001906Assistant 
Item 4 of 13Alexander David Hislopc. 1900Before 1908Assistant 
Item 5 of 13John Stirling Jarvie1900 or 19011901 or 1902Assistant 
Item 6 of 13David Morton Brown19021905Assistant 
Item 7 of 13Charles Jean Menart (or Ménart)Before 1903(?)Before 1903(?) Uncertain
Item 8 of 13William Riddell Glen19041908Assistant 
Item 9 of 13Arthur Donald Hamilton19051907Assistant 
Item 10 of 13Francis George Glyn Robertson (or Frank George Glyn Robertson)19061908Assistant 
Item 11 of 13David Girdwood1906 or 1907 Apprentice 
Item 12 of 13William A Robbc. 19071908Apprentice 
Item 13 of 13Alexander David HislopBefore 19081908Senior Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 4David Barclay11 June 1906for Fellowship
Item 2 of 4(Sir) John James Burnet11 June 1906for Fellowship
Item 3 of 4John Keppie11 June 1906for Fellowship
Item 4 of 4C J MacLean11 June 1906for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1James Smith3 December 1906for Associateship

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 141 Birmingham Law Courts  BirminghamEnglandMay have submitted design - see Hislop & Wesh Collection drawings
Item 2 of 141 Feuing scheme survey, GallanachOban ArgyllScotlandNot clear whether alone (post-1897) or with Burnet Son & Campbell; probably by Burnet as he subsequently extended Gallanach House
Item 3 of 141 The CairnBridge of Weir Renfrewshire  
Item 4 of 1411885Established ChurchCorrieArranButeScotland 
Item 5 of 1411886Auchterarder House and west lodge and gates  PerthshireScotlandRemodelling - porte cochere, billiard room, winter garden and internal refitting of house. Also west lodge and gates 1889
Item 6 of 1411886Barony Parish Church  GlasgowScotlandWon competition and secured job
Item 7 of 1411886Casino     
Item 8 of 1411886Circus for a large town     
Item 9 of 1411886CorrienessanLoch Ard, Aberfoyle PerthshireScotland 
Item 10 of 1411886House at KilwinningKilwinning AyrshireScotland 
Item 11 of 1411886Shawlands Parish ChurchShawlands GlasgowScotland 
Item 12 of 1411886Wood Memorial Free ChurchElie FifeScotlandUnsuccessful competition design (Sydney Mitchell appointed)
Item 13 of 14118871-17, 2-8 Park Circus PlaceWoodlands Hill GlasgowScotlandNo 9
Item 14 of 14118879 Park Circus Place  GlasgowScotlandBilliard Room
Item 15 of 1411887NunholmeDowanhill GlasgowScotlandDesign exhibited - major reconstruction of existing house
Item 16 of 1411887Royal Clyde Yacht Club and HotelDunoon ArgyllScotlandCompetition design - not successful
Item 17 of 1411888Ewing Gilmour Institute for Working GirlsAlexandria DunbartonshireScotlandMainly responsible
Item 18 of 1411888St Molio's Parish ChurchShiskineArranButeScotlandWith William Kerr and Alexander McGibbon as assistants on the drawings
Item 19 of 1411888The ChestersBearsden GlasgowScotlandInternal refitting of earlier house
Item 20 of 1411888Villas for J Smellie Junior  GlasgowScotland 
Item 21 of 1411889BaronaldLanark LanarkshireScotland 
Item 22 of 1411889Charing Cross Mansions and shops  GlasgowScotland 
Item 23 of 1411889Edinbarnet  DunbartonshireScotlandMajor reconstruction after fire
Item 24 of 1411889Free ChurchAlexandria DunbartonshireScotlandResponsible for design
Item 25 of 1411889Largs Parish Church and Memorial HallsLargs AyrshireScotlandCompetition design - unsuccessful
Item 26 of 1411889Marine HotelElie FifeScotland 
Item 27 of 1411890GarmoyleDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 28 of 1411890Levenford HouseDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandInterior remodelling and addition
Item 29 of 1411891Ayr Public LibraryAyr AyrshireScotlandCompetition design - not successful
Item 30 of 1411891Caledonian Insurance Office  GlasgowScotlandUnexecuted proposal to build additional floors - 'Proposed building in St Vincent Street'
Item 31 of 1411891Glasgow Art Gallery and MuseumKelvingrove GlasgowScotlandUnsuccessful competition design
Item 32 of 1411891J & P Coats Offices  GlasgowScotlandCompetition design - not successful
Item 33 of 1411891Killean House (new)Tayinloan ArgyllScotlandFurther work
Item 34 of 1411891Tullichewan ArmsBalloch DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 35 of 1411892Aerated Water Factory, 65 East King StreetHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 36 of 1411892Cathedral Court, workmen's housing  GlasgowScotland 
Item 37 of 1411892Royal Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons  GlasgowScotland 
Item 38 of 1411893Arbroath Parish ChurchArbroath AngusScotlandWon competition and secured commission
Item 39 of 1411893Bromley HouseAlexandria DunbartonshireScotlandProposed alteration
Item 40 of 1411893Established ChurchGlenboig LanarkshireScotland 
Item 41 of 1411893Feuing at Whiting BayWhiting BayArranButeScotlandFeuing plan
Item 42 of 1411893Hamilton TerraceLamlashArranButeScotland 
Item 43 of 1411893Skinner's Bakery and tea roomCharing Cross GlasgowScotlandEarlier work - perhaps by Burnet, Son & Campbell
Item 44 of 1411893University of Glasgow Students' Union  GlasgowScotlandWestern extension
Item 45 of 1411894Campbeltown Cottage HospitalCampbeltown ArgyllScotland 
Item 46 of 1411894Dougarie Lodge ArranButeScotlandProposed additions - not built following the death of the 12th Duke in 1895
Item 47 of 1411894Dundas UP ChurchGrangemouth StirlingshireScotland 
Item 48 of 1411894Glasgow Stock Exchange  GlasgowScotlandExtension in St George's Place
Item 49 of 1411894Glasgow Western Infirmary, Pathology Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 50 of 1411894Kirklee Station  GlasgowScotland 
Item 51 of 1411894Lochranza Hotel ArranButeScotlandLarge scheme proposed & exhibited but reduced scheme also exhibited in the same year. Reduced scheme executed
Item 52 of 1411894Princes Dock and hydraulic power stationQueen's Dock/Cessnock Dock GlasgowScotlandHydraulic power station
Item 53 of 1411894Village HallBrodickArranButeScotland 
Item 54 of 141c. 1894Dougarie Lodge, boathouse ArranButeScotlandAttribution; no documentary evidence found
Item 55 of 1411895Glasgow Cross Station  GlasgowScotland 
Item 56 of 1411895Night Asylum  GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 57 of 1411895North British Railway Hotel  EdinburghScotlandCompetition design - not successful
Item 58 of 1411895Public Baths and gymnasiumAlloa ClackmannanshireScotland 
Item 59 of 1411895St Modan's Parish ChurchRosneath / Roseneath DunbartonshireScotlandAlterations, including some to chancel
Item 60 of 1411896Aerated Water Factory  GlasgowScotland 
Item 61 of 1411896Albany Chambers and shopsCharing Cross GlasgowScotland 
Item 62 of 1411896Albany Mansions  GlasgowScotland 
Item 63 of 1411896Anderston Cross Station and associated buildings  GlasgowScotland 
Item 64 of 1411896Black's warehouse  GlasgowScotlandReconstruction as R W Forsyth's Store
Item 65 of 1411896CarronvaleLarbert StirlingshireScotlandComplete reconstruction - commission retained by Burnet after dissolution of partnership with Campbell
Item 66 of 1411896Clydebank Riverside StationClydebank DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 67 of 1411896Gardner Memorial ChurchBrechin AngusScotlandCommission retained by Burnet after dissolution of partnership with Campbell
Item 68 of 1411896Glasgow School of Art  GlasgowScotlandUnsuccessful competition design
Item 69 of 1411896Kelvinside Station  GlasgowScotland 
Item 70 of 1411896Liverpool Museum extension and Technical Schools  LiverpoolEnglandCompetition design - not successful
Item 71 of 141c. 1896Canal housesBowling DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 72 of 1411897Dalskairth  DumfriesshireScotlandPlans drawn up for complete Scots Baronial remodelling (not executed).
Item 73 of 1411897Dawyck HouseBroughton (near) PeeblesshireScotlandLarge addition - tower not carried out. General plans and elevations. Estimates of additions and alterations to cottages and stables. Also proposed new gatehouses. Elevations of main library.
Item 74 of 1411897Union Bank, Argyle Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 75 of 1411898Britannia Assurance Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 76 of 1411898Gilmour Girls' Cottage HomeCroftamie, Drymen DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 77 of 1411898Glasgow International Exhibition of 1901Kelvingrove GlasgowScotlandThird premiated competition design (in association with Alexander McGibbon) (£100 premium)
Item 78 of 1411899Baillieston HouseBaillieston GlasgowScotlandAdditions and new stables
Item 79 of 1411899Commercial premises, Buchanan Street  GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 80 of 1411899Dalskairth  DumfriesshireScotlandReduced scheme, addition and internal remodelling - executed
Item 81 of 1411899Daniel HouseDowanhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 82 of 1411899Warehouse for Balloch & Co  GlasgowScotland 
Item 83 of 141c. 1899Darleith HouseCardross DunbartonshireScotlandAlterations and additions to house and cottage
Item 84 of 14119001 Park TerraceWoodlands Hill GlasgowScotlandSingle-storey billiard room extension
Item 85 of 1411900Dalskairth  DumfriesshireScotlandWellhead - HS attribution
Item 86 of 1411900Ewart Free LibraryDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandCompetition design - not successful
Item 87 of 1411900Glasgow Royal Infirmary  GlasgowScotlandCompetition design - unplaced
Item 88 of 1411900KeppochCardross DunbartonshireScotlandStables
Item 89 of 1411900Old Monkland FarmBaillieston LanarkshireScotland 
Item 90 of 1411900Villas for J Smellie  GlasgowScotland 
Item 91 of 141190113 High Windsor Terrace  GlasgowScotlandBilliard room
Item 92 of 1411901Cottage for A Murray Esq    Drawings include some for alterations and additons to cottage.
Item 93 of 1411901Duncryne CottageGartocharn DunbartonshireScotlandIncorporated mid 19th century cottage house
Item 94 of 1411901Kelvin Club  GlasgowScotlandInterior work
Item 95 of 1411901Office block for R E Buchanan  GlasgowScotland 
Item 96 of 1411901TodhillNewton Mearns RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 97 of 1411901Wellpark Brewery, cold storage building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 98 of 141c. 1901(?)2 High Windsor Terrace  GlasgowScotland 
Item 99 of 1411902Lynedoch Place and Lynedoch Crescent  GlasgowScotlandAttic floor added to no 9
Item 100 of 1411902Office building, 157-167 Hope Street and 169-175 West George Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 101 of 1411902Western Club  GlasgowScotlandProposed extension
Item 102 of 141After 1902Allan Line turbine steamers     
Item 103 of 141c. 1902Carrick HouseAyr AyrshireScotlandInterior work
Item 104 of 1411903DrumquharStrathblane StirlingshireScotland 
Item 105 of 141c. 1903BrannochlieBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotlandExtension and remodelling of farmhouse
Item 106 of 1411904Edinburgh Life Assurance Company  GlasgowScotland 
Item 107 of 1411904Golf Clubhouse, Old Course, RanfurlyBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotlandIncludes proposed adjacent cottage
Item 108 of 1411904HousewoodhedBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 109 of 14119053 Park Circus  GlasgowScotlandStables etc
Item 110 of 1411905AuchenkyleTroon AyrshireScotland 
Item 111 of 1411905Burnside CottageBridge of Weir Renfrewshire  
Item 112 of 1411905Caldarvan HouseKilmaronock DunbartonshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 113 of 1411905Dunragit House  WigtownshireScotlandAlterations
Item 114 of 1411905House for Richard ArrollBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 115 of 1411905Lydwell for Sheriff W D Lyall (or Lyell)Bridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotlandList of plans in GUL suggests that there may also be alterations to Sheriff Lyell at a later date.
Item 116 of 1411905Office and warehouse building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 117 of 1411905Queen Victoria Memorial School, Drums of the KippendavieDunblane PerthshireScotlandAppointed through competition
Item 118 of 1411905South African War MemorialFalkirk StirlingshireScotland 
Item 119 of 1411905SouthwoodTroon AyrshireScotland 
Item 120 of 1411905The HomesteadBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 121 of 141c. 190510-20 Carrick AvenueAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 122 of 1411906Auchenheglish and lodgeLoch Lomond DunbartonshireScotlandProposed additions
Item 123 of 1411906Tenement of two storeys and attic with shops, Bearsden CrossBearsden GlasgowScotland 
Item 124 of 1411906Terrace of houses, Redlands Road  GlasgowScotland 
Item 125 of 1411906ThreeplandsBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 126 of 141c. 190614-16 Mirrlees Drive and 18-20 Mirrlees Drive  GlasgowScotland 
Item 127 of 141c. 190615-19 Mirrlees Drive  GlasgowScotland 
Item 128 of 141c. 19063-13 Mirrlees Drive  GlasgowScotland 
Item 129 of 1411907House and motor car house for James AndersonTroon AyrshireScotland 
Item 130 of 1411907House for J FullertonBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 131 of 1411907Northern Insurance Company offices and Imperial Union Club  GlasgowScotlandIncluding interiors of Imperial Union Club - in partnership with Hislop in later stages of project
Item 132 of 1411907Residence for Robert ClarkTroon AyrshireScotland 
Item 133 of 1411907Scottish National Exhibition, 1908Saughton EdinburghScotlandCompetition design - first premium. Commission went to Walker & Ramsay
Item 134 of 1411907WhitesladeBroughton PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 135 of 141Before 1907Horsewoodhead Golf Course ClubhouseBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 136 of 1411908Auchineden HouseBlanefield StirlingshireScotlandAlterations
Item 137 of 1411908House for A GuthrieBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 138 of 1411908Perth Town HallPerth PerthshireScotlandCompetition design - placed third
Item 139 of 1411908Queen Victoria Memorial School, headmaster's houseDunblane PerthshireScotland 
Item 140 of 1411908Queen Victoria Memorial School, infirmaryDunblane PerthshireScotlandCompleted
Item 141 of 141c. 1909DamsideAuchterarder PerthshireScotlandReconstruction of spoilt Georgian house with new wings


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1Walker, Frank Arneil1986South Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide to Inverclyde and Renfrew  p85

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Builder31 July 1909  Obituary
Item 2 of 3Quiz28 September 1893  p21 - biographical note
Item 3 of 3RIBA Journal1909 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsObituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Information from the recollections of A D Hislop (per A G Lochhead), Alexander Wright and John Watson; research by Iain Paterson.
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F v17 p3 no1098 (microfilm reel 12)


© All rights reserved. Courtesy of Iain Paterson 

© All rights reserved. Courtesy of Iain Paterson