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Basic Biographical Details

Name: Alexander Cullen (junior)
Designation: Architect
Born: 9 April 1892
Died: 7 November 1963
Bio Notes: Alexander Cullen was born in Hamilton on 9 April 1892, youngest son of Alexander Cullen and his wife Barbara Rodger. He was educated at Hamilton Academy and Glasgow High School, and attended classes at Glasgow School of Art from September 1910, receiving his architectural training in his father's firm of Cullen, Lochhead & Brown from January 1911 and also studying at the Royal Technical College under Eugène Bourdon. In July 1914 he undertook a sketching and measuring tour of Ely, Cambridge, Lincoln and York. He passed the qualifying exam in Glasgow in March 1915 and soon thereafter was commisssioned in the King's Own Scottish Borderers, subsequently transferred to the Machine Gun Corps, serving in France until the end of the war. He made further measured drawing visits, to Arras in October 1916, to Amiens in March 1917 and to Chalons-sur-Marne in October 1917.

On returning from war in 1919 he rejoined Cullen, Lochhead & Brown as an assistant. He passed the qualifying exam in 1920 and was admitted ARIBA in the same year, his proposers being James Lochhead, John Keppie and John Watson. He made a study trip to Canterbury in 1922 and either from choice or necessity he left Cullen, Lochhead & Brown's at the end of that year. On 1 January 1923 he commenced practice in Hamilton in competition with them, shortly thereafter winning the competition for Glasgow High School War Memorial Sports Pavilion. Professor W J Smith who was a contemporary at Glasgow School of Art and Royal College described his practice as having 'flourished' and during this period he carried out commissions for the British Linen Bank, Messrs Colvilles and local authorities. No work is at present recorded after 1931 but much of his work at this time may have related to town planning as he obtained the RIBA Diploma in Town Planning with distinction and passed the external examinations of the Town Planning Institute and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, and was for a time Chairman of the Scottish branch of the Town Planning Institute.

Cullen was made a Fellow of the Surveyors' Institution in 1925, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 1924, a Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland in 1929, and was admitted FRIBA in early 1930, his proposers being John Keppie, William Brown Whitie and Andrew Balfour. He completed the work in hand of Thomas Spiers Fraser, a former partner in the Cullen, Lochhead & Brown practice who had likewise set up independent practice in Hamilton, after the latter's death in October 1934, although none of these works has yet been identified. In 1936 he married Margaret Watt, daughter of W H Watt.

Between the wars Cullen served in the Territorial Army. When war was declared in September 1939 Cullen became a Lieutenant-Colonel commanding the 6th Battalion of the Cameronians and again served in France bringing his battalion home safely from Cherbourg in 1941 for which his services were awarded with an OBE.

After the war Cullen was only briefly in private practice being appointed in 1946 County Architect and Planning Officer for Invernessshire, a post which he held until his retirement at the age of sixty four, ten years later. Despite post-war restrictions his local housing received a Saltire Award. The RIBA Kalendar of 1950-51 records that at that date he was OBE, TD, FRICS, FRSE, MTPI, FSA (Scot) and that he had been awarded RIBA Distinction and the RIBA Diploma in Town Planning.

Cullen resumed private practice, now based at 5 Castle Street, Inverness, after his retirement. One job he undertook was the repair and adaptation of Old Leanach Cottage which was undertaken in conjunction with the Forres office of Rowand Anderson, Kininmonth & Paul. He was also involved with the re-roofing of King’s Stables Cottage for the NTS about 1962. He served on the Culloden Committee of the NTS until his death.

Throughout his Inverness years he retained connections with the Glasgow area as a governor of the Royal College and of Glasgow School of Art until 1958. He died on 7 November 1963.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 514, Hamilton Park Terrace, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1920 *  
Item 2 of 588, Cadzow Street, Hamilton, Lanarkshire, ScotlandBusiness1926 *  
Item 3 of 5Invercoe, Uddingston, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivate1929 *  
Item 4 of 592, Cadzow Street, Hamilton, Lanarkshire, ScotlandBusinessBefore 19311954Address given in RIBAJ obituary of Thomas S Fraser
Item 5 of 5County Chambers, Inverness, Inverness-shire, ScotlandPrivate/businessc. 19451963 

* 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 3Cullen, Lochhead & BrownJanuary 1911March 1915Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Cullen, Lochhead & Brown19191922Assistant 
Item 3 of 3Inverness County Architect's OfficeBefore 1950 Chief Architect 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Andrew BalfourEarly 1930for Fellowship
Item 2 of 6John KeppieEarly 1920for Associateship
Item 3 of 6John KeppieEarly 1930for Fellowship
Item 4 of 6James LochheadEarly 1920for Associateship
Item 5 of 6John WatsonEarly 1920for Associateship
Item 6 of 6William Brown WhitieEarly 1930for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 11William Glashan9 October 1956For Fellowship
Item 2 of 11David Polson Hall1 May 1951For Fellowship
Item 3 of 11Margaret Jean Sutherland Love (Mrs Gardner)10 January 1938for Associateship
Item 4 of 11Hugh Sinclair MacdonaldLate 1955for Fellowship
Item 5 of 11Andrew McGraw4 April 1938for Fellowship
Item 6 of 11Lennox Dundas PatersonLate 1931For Associateship
Item 7 of 11Lennox Dundas Paterson6 February 1939for Fellowship
Item 8 of 11George Clark RobbEarly 1956For Fellowship
Item 9 of 11Robert Alison Crighton Simpson8 January 1952For Fellowship
Item 10 of 11James Stevenson6 March 1956For Licentiateship
Item 11 of 11James Alexander Wyllie14 November 1944for 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 341923Birkwood HouseLesmahagow LanarkshireScotlandMay have been involved in conversion to institution for juvenile mentally disabled patients
Item 2 of 341924Welfare Scheme Buildings, BurnbankHamilton LanarkshireScotland 
Item 3 of 341925Glasgow High School War Memorial Club HouseAnniesland GlasgowScotland 
Item 4 of 341926Grandstand and Pavilion, Selkirk Rugby ClubSelkirk SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 5 of 341926Palais de DanseHamilton LanarkshireScotland 
Item 6 of 341928Area planning and housing scheme, Hamilton Town CouncilHamilton LanarkshireScotland 
Item 7 of 341928St Margaret's Parish Church  EdinburghScotland 
Item 8 of 341928The MooringsMotherwell LanarkshireScotlandAlterations?
Item 9 of 341929Grandstand and Ground Scheme, Motherwell Football ClubMotherwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 10 of 341929Omnibus StationHamilton LanarkshireScotland 
Item 11 of 341929Silk FactoryMotherwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 12 of 341930Petrol Filling StationHamilton LanarkshireScotland 
Item 13 of 341931British Linen BankHamilton LanarkshireScotland 
Item 14 of 341937Regal CinemaLarkhall LanarkshireScotlandReconstruction and extension
Item 15 of 341938Bakery for Messrs Lightbody & SonHamilton LanarkshireScotland 
Item 16 of 341951Catholic School, LochsideLochaber Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 17 of 341951Hostel, InvernessInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 18 of 341951Hostel, Isle of Skye  Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 19 of 341951Primary School, DalneighDalneigh, Inverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 20 of 341952Invernesshire County Council Housing  InvernesshireScotlandNew housing
Item 21 of 341952Primary school, DalbeathDalbeath InvernesshireScotlandNew school
Item 22 of 341952Primary School, HiltonHilton, Inverness Inverness-shireScotlandTo prepare plans for new school
Item 23 of 3430 January 1953School and Hall, Milton Housing Site  Inverness-shireScotlandNew school and hall
Item 24 of 3431 July 1953Public garage and filling station, LarkhallLarkhall LanarkshireScotlandTo prepare plans for new public garage and filling station
Item 25 of 3416 October 1953Invernesshire County Council Housing, UigUigSkye ScotlandFour houses
Item 26 of 341954Council HousingCarrbridge Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 27 of 341954Council Housing, Broadfoot Skye Scotland 
Item 28 of 341954Petrol Station and Cafe, ValleyfieldAbbington LanarkshireScotland 
Item 29 of 3412 February 1954Housing, DalneighDalneigh, Inverness Inverness-shireScotlandPlans in hand for 12 houses
Item 30 of 3426 March 1954Council Housing, BeaulyBeauly Inverness-shireScotlandPlans in hand for 42 houses
Item 31 of 341955Council HousingNethy Bridge Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 32 of 34January 1958(?)Village and distillery at Tormore Estate, SpeysideSpeyside  Scotland'Inverness architect Lt.-Col. Alexander Cullen, FRIBA, will have the co-operation of Professor Sir Albert Richardson in planning the project.' per Builder 17 January 1958 p159
Item 33 of 34c. 1960Leanach of Culloden, House, servants' cottages and cattle courts  Inverness-shireScotlandRepair and re-roofing od Old Leanach Cottage in conjunction with the Forres office of Rowand Anderson, Kininmonth & Paul.
Item 34 of 34c. 1962Culloden, King's Stable CottageCulloden Inverness-shireScotlandRe-roofing


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 2 of 3RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 3Scottish Biographies1938  E J Thurston (pub.) 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 20Builder12 January 1951  p87
Item 2 of 20Builder19 January 1951  p121
Item 3 of 20Builder26 January 1951  p155
Item 4 of 20Builder5 January 1951  p27
Item 5 of 20Builder29 August 1952  p313
Item 6 of 20Builder5 September 1952  p349
Item 7 of 20Builder5 September 1952  p349
Item 8 of 20Builder14 November 1952  p728
Item 9 of 20Builder30 January 1953  p216
Item 10 of 20Builder31 July 1953  p188
Item 11 of 20Builder16 October 1953  p600
Item 12 of 20Builder12 February 1954  p321
Item 13 of 20Builder26 March 1954  p573
Item 14 of 20Builder25 June 1954  p1134
Item 15 of 20Builder30 July 1954  p198
Item 16 of 20Builder6 August 1954  p239
Item 17 of 20Builder7 January 1955  p36
Item 18 of 20RIAS QuarterlyAugust 1951no 85Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)Appreciation, p3
Item 19 of 20RIBA Journal29 June 1935v42London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp948 - obituary of Thomas S Fraser, stating that Cullen completed his works in hand after his death
Item 20 of 20RIBA Journal1963 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsObituary Check

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 no2959 (microfilm reel 24); F no2770 (box 11)


© All rights reserved. ©and courtesy of RIAS 

© All rights reserved. ©and courtesy of RIAS