Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||Archibald Macintosh Doak |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||29 August 1915 |
|Died: ||11 October 1992 |
|Bio Notes: ||Archibald ('Archie') Macintosh Doak was born in Greenock on 29 August 1915, the son of Robert Doak, foreman patternmaker in the Caledonian Foundry, Greenock, and Christina McIntosh. He was the second eldest of a family of six, four boys and two girls, who were brought up by two maiden aunts, Helen and Margaret McIntosh, after both parents became invalids. He was educated at Greenock High School, where he proved an excellent athlete and footballer, representing Scotland at Schoolboy level and being offered the opportunity to play at Senior level with Morton FC. However, he chose instead to pursue a career in architecture, and was articled to John Keppie & Henderson in 1933 (having lost a year at school through illness), studying at the Glasgow School of Architecture under Harold Hughes. He was a successful student, gaining the Glasgow School of Architecture Medal for Excellence in 1936. At the end of his articles he sought experience elsewhere, including in the office of Thomson Sandilands & MacLeod, but in 1938 he returned to Keppie & Henderson's as assistant to Andrew Graham Henderson. In that office he became a close friend of Robert W K C Rogerson (born May 1917), later of Rogerson & Spence. |
After war was declared on 3 September 1939 Doak followed Colonel Henderson, as he had by then become, to the War Department valuer's office at the Royal College of Science & Technology. He was called up in the following year and spent three-and-a-half years in the First Fortress Company of the Royal Engineers at Gibraltar, followed by two years in the army of occupation in Hamburg, working on post-war repair and building projects. He was demobilised from Halifax in 1946 and returned to Keppie & Henderson's from 1947 to 1949. In 1947 he was elected LRIBA and he was awarded the A Leslie Hamilton Travelling Scholarship. From 1949-50 he was on the staff of the Department of Health in Edinburgh, and from 1951-54 returned to Glasgow as senior assistant architect to John McNab in the Education section of Glasgow City Architect's Department, experience which was to prove invaluable later.
In 1954, with Alistair Whitelaw, Doak won the competition for the Children's Church at Sighthill, Edinburgh, and as neither had any track record in independent practice they formed the partnership of Ross, Doak & Whitelaw with David Ross of Aberdeen. He took no very active part in it, all the design work being carried out by Doak and Whitelaw. Initially the firm of Ross, Doak & Whitelaw was based in Glasgow, while Ross continued to run his own practice in Aberdeen, passing some commissions to the Glasgow office. Other church commissions quickly followed, and in 1959 Whitelaw too moved to Aberdeen to open a branch office in premises shared with J A O Allan, Ross & Allan at 13 Bon Accord Square. The practice's one major building was Anniesland College of Further Education, built in 1962-64.
Doak served for many years on the Councils of both the Glasgow Institute and the Royal Incorporation (he was elected FRIAS in 1964 and FRIBA in 1968, proposed by Jack Coia, Ninian Johnston and Alexander Buchanan Campbell). His experience of publishing with the Glasgow Institute and his friendship with the designer Gordon Huntly resulted in an invitation from the Corporation of Glasgow to produce 'Glasgow at a Glance', the pictorial guide to Glasgow's architecture for the Commonwealth Arts Festival. This he undertook in partnership with Professor Andrew McLaren Young, Richmond Professor of Fine Art at the University of Glasgow. Broadly McLaren Young edited the book and wrote the Mackintosh captions, David Walker wrote the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth century entries, while Doak contributed the post-war material and attended to the book production. It proved a bestseller and ran to several further editions following McLaren Young's untimely death in 1975 when the precedence of the editors was reversed. As a result of his experience with this book Doak was appointed chairman of the RIAS publications board. He advised on the production of the RIAS/Landmark Trust series of architectural guides, but did not become involved in the actual writing of them. He acted in a similar capacity at Glasgow Art Club, of which he was a member for forty years and latterly treasurer.
Doak was not tall and was quite unpretentious; but he had a confident and absolutely straightforward manner coupled with a dry and occasionally pawky humour, particularly when recounting his early days at Keppie & Henderson's. In his Fellowship Nomination Paper Jack coia described him as having a 'sincere personality' and being a 'capable architect'.
He died on 11 October 1992, survived by his wife Moira (née Cameron), his sons John who practised in the Cayman Islands and Christopher who practised in Glasgow, and by his daughter Caroline.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|Glasgow, Scotland||Business|| || || |
|77, Dempster Street, Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland||Private/business(?)||1950 *|| || |
|39, Mansfield Road, Clarkston, Glasgow, Scotland||Business(?)||1964 *|| || |
|2, Clifton Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||Before 1964||After 1970|| |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
|This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):|
| ||Name||Date proposed||Notes|
|John Philip Boys||4 February 1970||For Fellowship|
|Robert Barr Rankin||22 July 1970||For Fellowship|
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architect:|
|Municipal Annual||1964||Scottish Municipal Annual||1964-1965|| || |
|RIBA||1950||The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951|| ||London: Royal Institute of British Architects|| |
|The following periodicals contain references to this architect:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Builder||2 April 1954|| || ||p585|
|Builder||1 May 1964|| || ||p903 - Doak edits Year Book of the Glasgow Institute of Architects (1964)|
|RIAS Newsletter||February 1993|| || || |
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|Professor David M Walker personal archive||Professor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material|| ||Personal recollections of Archibald M Doak|
|RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum||RIBA Nomination Papers|| ||F no6167 (Combined Box 123)|