Professional architectural practice in the work of John Douglas

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

Abstract / Description of output

Scottish architect John Douglas (c. 1709-1778) designs explored the plastic treatment of the volume and the materiality of elevation in rather eclectic manners beyond his period, often though deemed too fashionable or personal. He is an interesting less-known case of the early 18th century context in Scotland characterised by the professional establishment of architectural practice and a more conscious exploration of personal styles and external influences, often treatises. Better recognition of his architectural ideas can open interesting questions in Scottish historiography and this is attempted in the analysis of his major buildings: country seats like Archerfield (1745-9), Finlaystone House (1746-7), Wardhouse (1757); student halls in St. Salvator’s (1754-58); the disastrous intervention in Holyrood Abbey church (1760); and the town halls for Lochmaben (1756) and Campbeltown (1760). A characteristic treatment of the materiality of elevations emerges and a mannerism that is restrained and more influenced by the earlier Palladianism of Inigo Jones than James Gibbs. His professional practice is illustrated from the study of building contracts and the litigation with his journeyman George Paterson, which can then inform our broader knowledge of contemporary designer-contractor practices and sites organisation, as also confirm disputed authorship of his work.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 25 Apr 2015

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • John Douglas


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