Basic Biographical Details

Name: Wimperis & Simpson
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1913
Ended: 1925
Bio Notes: In 1913 Edmund Walter Wimperis replaced his partner John Reginald Best by taking into partnership William Begg Simpson, born 1880, the son of an Aberdonian farmer, described by his obituarist D F Fyffe as 'a man of amazing vitality and cheerfulness of spirit'. He was articled to Alexander Marshall Mackenzie 1896-1901, working alongside Mackenzie's son, Alexander George Robertson Mackenzie who was a year older. He attended classes at Aberdeen School of Art from 1896 until 1902 when he moved to London as assistant to Reid & MacDonald, both of whom had worked for Sir Ernest George. After a period with Arthur Conran Blomfield, Simpson joined Wimperis as an assistant in 1911, making his name with 26 Grosvenor Street in a neo-Georgian manner influenced by Lutyens.

The partnership of Wimperis & Simpson was renewed at the end of the First World War and in 1923 Wimperis & Simpson achieved still wider fame by winning the limited competition for the rebuilding of Fortnum & Masons. In 1925 Leonard Rome Guthrie was taken into partnership to help with the Grosvenor House project for which Lutyens was consultant, the practice name now becoming Wimperis Simpson & Guthrie. Born in 1880, Guthrie was educated at Glasgow High School and articled to William Leiper from 1895 to 1900, during which period he studied under William James Anderson at Glasgow School of Art. He won the Thomson Scholarship in 1899, enabling him to spend eight months travelling in Italy, Spain, France and Germany the following year. On his return in 1901 he spent some time travelling in Scotland, preparing drawings of Scottish gardens for Harry Inigo Triggs' book 'Formal Gardens of England and Scotland', and in the same year became head draughtsman to William Flockhart, marrying one of Flockhart's two daughters. He left Flockhart in 1907 but stayed in London to commence practice on his own account at 3 Gray's Inn Square. He passed the qualifying exam in 1909 and was admitted ARIBA on 28 February 1910, his proposers being Flockhart, Andrew Noble Prentice and Edwin Alfred Rickards. He specialised in domestic architecture and landscaping, but was also appointed architect to the Royal Institution in 1913. He was elected FRIBA on 8 June 1925, his proposers being Edward Prioleau Warren, James Glen Sivewright Gibson and William Curtis Green.

Edmund Wimperis died in retirement in 1946. The practice was continued by Simpson and Guthrie with Douglas James Fyffe who had been taken into partnership in 1931. Guthrie retired in 1953 and died in April 1958 and Simpson, who had retired two years earlier in 1951 on 22 July 1959.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 161, South Molton Street, London, EnglandBusinessBefore 19141925 

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 4John Murray EastonAfter 19121919AssistantWith the exception of 1914-16, presumably spent on war service
Item 2 of 4William Begg Simpson19131925Partner 
Item 3 of 4Edmund Walter Wimperis19131925Partner 
Item 4 of 4Douglas James Fyffe19251925Assistant 

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 11923Fortnum & MasonPiccadilly LondonEnglandWon competition to secure job


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 1Survey of London Survey of London  v39 & 40