Basic Biographical Details

Name: John James Joass
Designation: Architect
Born: 1868
Died: 10 May 1955
Bio Notes: John James Joass was born in Dingwall in 1868, and was the son of William Cumming Joass, architect there. After a short period of basic training in his father's office from 1883 to 1885, he was articled to John Burnet & Son in Glasgow, and studied at Glasgow School of Art. He remained there until 1890 when he moved to the office of Robert Rowand Anderson, from where he won the Pugin Studentship in 1892. The following year he moved to London to spend a year in the office of Ernest George & Peto, from which he transferred to that of Edward John May in October 1894. He passed the qualifying exam in that year and was awarded the Owen Jones studentship, enabling him to travel to Italy and Sicily, his travels prior to that date having been limited to Scotland and England. He was admitted ARIBA on 10 June 1895, his proposers being George, John McKean Brydon, and Allan Graham, whom he had known in Glasgow.

Joass joined John Belcher's practice at 20 Hanover Square, London in 1896, briefly working with Arthur Beresford Pite, who left in 1897 to commence his own practice. Belcher took Joass into partnership in 1905.

Joass was elected FRIBA on 2 December 1912, proposed by Belcher, George and Reginald Blomfield. He continued the practice after Belcher's death in 1916.

Joass's chief hobby was sailing. He designed the latest vessel 'Macnab' himself; it was both a cruiser and ocean racer and was anchored at Poole Harbour.

Joass died on 10 May 1952 after a three-month illness. His practice was carried on by his assistant of many years H Bramwell and Leslie K Watson who had joined him more recently.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 8Dingwall, Ross and Cromarty, ScotlandPrivate18681885 
Item 2 of 8Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1883  
Item 3 of 8118, Mallinson Road, Wandsworth Common, London, EnglandPrivate1895 *  
Item 4 of 820, Hanover Square, London, EnglandBusiness1896  
Item 5 of 89, Clifford Street, London W, EnglandBusiness1912 *  
Item 6 of 818, Blenheim Road, London NW, EnglandPrivate1912 *  
Item 7 of 840, St James's Place, London, EnglandBusiness1924(?)  
Item 8 of 8Poole, Devon, EnglandPrivateBefore 1952 *  

* 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 8William Cumming Joass18831885 Basic training
Item 2 of 8John Burnet & SonNovember 188513 August 1886Apprentice 
Item 3 of 8Burnet Son & Campbell13 August 1886January 1890Apprentice 
Item 4 of 8Wardrop & AndersonJanuary 1890July 1893Assistant 
Item 5 of 8Ernest George & PetoSeptember 1893June 1894Assistant 
Item 6 of 8Edward John MayOctober 18941895 or 1896Assistant 
Item 7 of 8John Belcher18961905Assistant 
Item 8 of 8Belcher & Joass1905 Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6John Belcher2 December 1912for Fellowship
Item 2 of 6(Sir) Reginald Theodore Blomfield2 December 1912for Fellowship
Item 3 of 6John McKean Brydon10 June 1895for Associateship
Item 4 of 6Ernest George10 June 1895for Associateship
Item 5 of 6Ernest George2 December 1912for Fellowship
Item 6 of 6Alexander Graham10 June 1895for Associateship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 8Francis Runcie Chalmers24 June 1912for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 8James Mitchell White Halley1914for Fellowship
Item 3 of 8Joseph Marr Johnston14 June 1926for Fellowship
Item 4 of 8Donald MacDonald Mackie31 October 1930for Licentiateship
Item 5 of 8James McLachlan30 November 1925for Fellowship
Item 6 of 8John Murray30 November 1925for Fellowship
Item 7 of 8Ernest Seel17 September 1931For Associateship
Item 8 of 8Frederick Julian Wass24 June 1912for Licentiateship

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 51905Tapley ParkInstow DevonEnglandBegun by Belcher alone prior to partnership; presumably completed by Joass after Belcher's death in 1913
Item 2 of 51910WestfieldColinton EdinburghScotlandDate approximate. May be earlier?
Item 3 of 5After 1920Swan & Edgar department store  LondonEnglandRebuilding - in collaboration with Louis David Blanc
Item 4 of 51922Dingwall War MemorialDingwall Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 5 of 51928Lex Garage  LondonEnglandResponsible for design of corner tower


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 4Architectural ReviewNovember 1970  pp283-290
Item 2 of 4Builder16 May 1952  Obituary
Item 3 of 4RIBA JournalAugust 1952 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsObituary p386 (by Leslie Watson)
Item 4 of 4The Studio1897XI Article which John James Joass wrote and illustrated entitled 'The Scottish Formal Garden'

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 v13 p43 (microfiche 60/A5); F v21 no1474 (microfilm reel 13)