Basic Biographical Details

Name: Findlay Stewart & Robbie
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: c. 1930
Ended:  
Bio Notes: James Findlay was articled to John Murray Robertson, remaining with him to become chief draughtsman. He succeeded to his practice when he died in 1901.

In 1903 Findlay took on David Smith as his chief assistant. Smith was born at Montrose on 25 July 1878 and was educated at Montrose Academy. In 1895 he was articled to McCulloch & Jamieson in Dundee, leaving at the end of his apprenticeship in 1899 to work for Hugh Gavin of Arbroath. During those years he studied at the Dundee Technical Institute under Patrick H Thoms from 1898 until 1900 when he moved to Edinburgh to work for Victor Daniel Horsburgh so that he could study at the School of Applied Art. He obtained a place in the office of Murray Robertson in Dundee 1901-02. He then succeeded in gaining a place first in the LCC architects' department which enabled him to study at the Regent Street Polytechnic. From there he moved to the office of Leonard Stokes from which he won the Tite Prize. Findlay invited him to return to Dundee to assist with the Medical School and the Caird Cancer Pavilion, the latter being largely to his design. While chief assistant with Findlay he built an experimental low cost house, The Sheilin at Wormit (the '100 house') for his own occupation. He was admitted LRIBA on 20 February 1911, his proposers being Godfrey Shepherd, Thoms and William Fleming Wilkie.

Smith remained with Findlay's practice thereafter. He appeared in 'Who's who in Architecture' from 1914: he had clients of his own, but was generally content to remain a back-room architect concentrating on the design work of the practice.

In 1928 Smith became a partner, and Findlay and Smith merged their practice with that of Ogilvy and Stewart. This firm comprised Gilbert Francis Molyneux Ogilvy who had closed his London practice in the early years of the First World War, and Nelson T Stewart of the joiners and builders John Stewart & Sons, 16 Forfar Road, Dundee, which had specialised in shop and office buildings and had provided a design and build service since about 1911. In 1918 or 1919 Gilbert Ogilvy had returned to Dundee, most of his practice having come to him through his elder brother, Sir Herbert Kinnaird Ogilvy of Baldovan and of Shiell & Small, solicitors. In 1920 he had inherited the estate of Winton, East Lothian from his aunt, but continued his Dundee practice which was based in his brother's office at 5 Bank Street, merging it with that of Nelson T Stewart about 1925. Of that partnership both Ogilvy's son, Sir David and Henry Pearce Robbie observed that Stewart did not have much design sense but was a sound practical man from his experience with his father's building business: Ogilvy's interest in the firm was at times ephemeral and he tended to undertake only commissions in which there was a personal interest leaving the rest to Stewart. At the time of the merger with Findlay and Smith he withdrew because of the severity of the recession observing that in the circumstances it was wrong to carry on a practice he could afford to do without.

The practice title was briefly Findlay & Stewart, but became Findlay Stewart & Robbie c.1930 when it was joined by Henry Pearce Robbie who had won the Alexander Thomson travelling scholarship in 1925 and had succeeded Vernon Constable as lecturer in architecture at the Technical College, also in 1930. Findlay died in March 1943; Smith had predeceased him in 1938. Stewart died in 1948, leaving Pearce Robbie as sole partner, the firm still being based in Murray Robertson's office at 33 Albert Square.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 133, Albert Square, Dundee, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1930After 1964 

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architectural practice (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 9Ian Brown KinnearJune 1930June 1935Apprentice 
Item 2 of 9Nelson T Stewartc. 1930 Partner 
Item 3 of 9Henry Pearce Robbiec. 1930 Partner 
Item 4 of 9David Smithc. 19301938Partner 
Item 5 of 9James Findlayc. 19301943Partner 
Item 6 of 9Arthur Tattershall CraneJuly 19341939Apprentice 
Item 7 of 9Ian Brown KinnearJuly 1935September 1935Assistant 
Item 8 of 9Richard Houston DewarSeptember 1935May 1940Apprentice 
Item 9 of 9Martin Muir Walker Wellwood1963 Assistant 

Buildings and Designs

This architectural practice 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 261920sDundee Savings Bank branches  DundeeScotlandPartnership may be involved depending on date.
Item 2 of 261930Double villa, Hyndford Street  DundeeScotland 
Item 3 of 261930Glamis House  DundeeScotlandAdditions
Item 4 of 261930Premises for M Boyle's Trust  DundeeScotlandReconstruction
Item 5 of 26After 1930(?)Licensed premisesHawkhill DundeeScotlandDate unspecified; may have been completed prior to formation of this partnership
Item 6 of 26c. 1930St Fillan's UF ChurchNewport-on-Tay FifeScotlandProposed additions to church and to manse
Item 7 of 261931Bungalow, Dalgleish Road  DundeeScotland 
Item 8 of 261932Netherwood  DundeeScotlandAdditions and garage
Item 9 of 261933Caird Nurses' Home  DundeeScotlandAlterations
Item 10 of 261934Cottages, Pond LaneTayport FifeScotland 
Item 11 of 261934Four shopsBarnhill DundeeScotland 
Item 12 of 261934Guardbridge Co-operative Society Buildings, including stablesTayport FifeScotland 
Item 13 of 261934Robertson's furniture store  DundeeScotland 
Item 14 of 261935Beach HouseBroughty Ferry DundeeScotlandLarge extension to north west
Item 15 of 261935Building, Carnleith PlaceAlyth PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 16 of 261935Dundee Savings Bank  DundeeScotland 
Item 17 of 261935Garage Workshop and Showroom - Reid, Johnstone, Bell and Henderson  DundeeScotland 
Item 18 of 261935Holiday HomeAuchterhouse DundeeScotlandAdditions
Item 19 of 261935Tenement, Roseangle  DundeeScotland 
Item 20 of 261936Caledonian Insurance Building  DundeeScotlandAdditions
Item 21 of 261937Carn-ElrigBoat of Garten Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 22 of 261937Flass Road Housing Scheme, block of 6 housesNewport FifeScotland 
Item 23 of 261937Guardbridge Co-operative Society bakeryGuardbridge FifeScotlandAdditions
Item 24 of 261938The ElmsMonikie AngusScotlandAlterations
Item 25 of 261949Dental Hospital and School  DundeeScotlandPart at south end - two houses joined together
Item 26 of 261964Dental Hospital and School  DundeeScotlandBuilder gives this as architect but practice must have chagned to Robbie & Wellwood about this time.

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Municipal Annual1964Scottish Municipal Annual1964-1965  

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Builder31 January 1964  p266