Robert Macintyre

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Robert Hamilton Macintyre TD RIBA ARIAS (2 February 1940– 18 September 1997) was a Scottish architect with a particular interest in church architecture and in the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. He was a champion of causes to improve the arts facilities and architecture of Inverness, the Highland capital.


Nic Macintyre in Ruchill Church Hall, Glasgow. 1989

Born 2 February 1940,[1] Glasgow, Scotland, Robert Hamilton Macintyre (Nic) attended the Irvine Royal Academy after his family moved to Kilwinning in Ayrshire. He studied at the University of Strathclyde and at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art.

Macintyre began his career in the Glasgow offices of Keppie, Henderson and Partners, the successors to Charles Rennie Mackintosh's practice. He then joined Gillespie, Kidd and Coia (1966) where he worked alongside Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein on St Margaret's RC Church, Clydebank (1970–72).[2][3] He had a longstanding interest in ecclesiastical architecture with numerous commissions for the RC Diocese of Aberdeen, and later became Diocesan Architect for the Episcopal Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness.

Macintyre took a position as architect with John Laing Design Associates (1972) overseeing a housing development in Belfast. He then joined William Holford and Partners (1973), followed by Lobbing and Mullineux (1974), before moving to Inverness to run an office for Parr and Partners (1974). He set up his own practice there in 1978.

In 1990 Macintyre began work on The Artist's Cottage in Farr by Inverness for his clients Peter and Maxine Tovell - the realisation of a speculative drawing, An Artist's Cottage and Studio (1901),[4] by Charles Rennie Mackintosh (CRM). The house was completed in 1992.[5][6] An account of the project was published by the CRM Society.[7] North House and South House, from CRM's Gate Lodge, Auchinbothie (1901) sketches,[8] were added later.

Macintyre was a founder member of the Inverness Arts Forum and a campaigner in civic redevelopment projects[1] such as Rose Street Hall[9] in Inverness. He worked on these schemes in association with James Steel,[10] an Inverness artist and retired city planner (Halford Associates, Glasgow).

In 1992 Macintyre formed Mackintosh Galleries Ltd, the parent company of the Scottish Fine Art Group, with Peter Tovell and gallery owner, Ken Hardiman, to launch a contentious plan[11] to put CRM's unexecuted A Town House for an Artist (1901) as centrepiece to an arts, heritage and tourist centre for the town.[12] Despite support ("It would be a great shame if such a worthwhile addition to the town were allowed to slip from our grasp," editorial, The Inverness Courier[13]), and sympathetic modifications[14] ("In short, it sounds the sort of environment that would make humans happy and comfortable, improving the quality of life and enhancing the town," editorial, The Inverness Courier[15]), the proposals were rejected.

After Mackintosh Galleries Ltd was dissolved, Macintyre, Tovell and Hardiman continued to support arts events through the Scottish Fine Art Group.[16][17] In 1993, Macintyre took the post of lecturer in architecture and building science at Inverness College, University of the Highlands and Islands. He served as secretary of the Inverness Architectural Association and as chairman of RIAS Services Ltd. He was a major in the Territorial Army and awarded the Territorial Decoration in 1976. Whilst a student in Glasgow he was an active member of a drama workshop run by fellow students, Alex Gourlay[18] and Bill Bryden, an interest in the performing arts he continued throughout his life. He was a Scout Commissioner and a member of the Inverness Chamber of Commerce.[19]

Macintyre died suddenly on 18 September 1997.[20] His colleague, Hector MacDonald, described him as 'a passionate man (who) did nothing in half measures'.[21]


  1. ^ a b Goold, David (2016). "Robert Hamilton Macintyre". Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  2. ^ Gifford, John and Walker, Frank Arneil (2002). Stirling and Central Scotland (The Buildings of Scotland). Yale University Press, New Haven and London. p340 ISBN 978-0300095944
  3. ^ Glendinning, MacInnes and MacKechni (1996). A History of Scottish Architecture Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh p569 ISBN 978-0748608492
  4. ^ The Hunterian, The University of Glasgow. Mackintosh Collection, cat no: GLAHA 41142-45.
  5. ^ Hall, Michael (26 November 1992). "The Artist's Cottage, Inverness". Country Life (London), p34-37.
  6. ^ Glendinning, MacInnes and MacKechni (1996). A History of Scottish Architecture, Ch9 '1960 to the Present Day'. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh. p 488 ISBN 978-0748608492
  7. ^ Macintyre, Robert Hamilton (Spring 1992). "An Artist's Cottage and Studio". CRM Society Newsletter (Glasgow), No 58. p5-8.
  8. ^ The Hunterian, The University of Glasgow. Mackintosh Collection, cat no: GLAHA 41860.
  9. ^ Love, Jim (11 May 1993). "Nic's £1.3 million town arts centre plan began on auntie's jotter". The Inverness Courier (Inverness).
  10. ^ Love, Jim (28 August 1998). "James Steel - obituary". The Inverness Courier (Inverness).
  11. ^ "Art gallery scheme angers Falcon Square developers". The Inverness Courier (Inverness). 8 May 1992.
  12. ^ Love, Jim (8 May 1992). "An excellent showcase for local artists and national collections?". The Inverness Courier (Inverness).
  13. ^ Editorial (8 May 1992). "When second is best". The Inverness Courier (Inverness).
  14. ^ Love, Jim (14 August 1992). "Partners unveil radical new plan for town centre". The Inverness Courier (Inverness).
  15. ^ Editorial (14 August 1992). "Station yardstick". The Inverness Courier (Inverness).
  16. ^ van Beelan, Sandie (27 June 1996). "Art group plan to show al fresco". Press and Journal (Aberdeen).
  17. ^ Love, Jim (15 March 1996). "Highland artists invade London". The Inverness Courier (Inverness).
  18. ^ Gourlay, Alex. Artist (b 1941). Head of Design, BBC Scotland
  19. ^ Macintyre, Robert Hamilton (1940-97). Dictionary of Scottish Architects
  20. ^ Love, Jim (23 September 1997). "Death of Inverness arts venue campaign architect". The Inverness Courier (Inverness).
  21. ^ van Beelan, Sandie (22 September 1997). "Tributes to leading architect who was devotee of Rennie Mackintosh". Press and Journal (Aberdeen).

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