Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Cork and Dublin. Walter James Buchan was born in May 1900 and joined the British army in Dublin towards the end of the First World War. On leaving the army he was apprenticed to an architectural practice in Cork. He qualified as an architect in 1926. He then appears to have worked in Cork for the Dublin architects, BECKETT & BECKETT & amp; HARRINGTON HARRINGTON . By 1928 he and CYRIL ASHLIN HARRINGTON  CYRIL ASHLIN HARRINGTON had formed a separate partnership, practising from 73 South Mall, Cork, as HARRINGTON & HARRINGTON & amp; BUCHAN BUCHAN . In 1928 Buchan was one of the three architects in the Mount Merrion Park, Dublin, Development competition whose entries were 'recommended for further consideration'.(1)

In the Second World War Buchan joined the Engineers Corps of the Irish Army and was stationed in the Curragh. He was responsible for army buildings in Cos. Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford, Kildare, Kilkenny as well as in the Curragh itself. After the war, during which he attained the rank of lieutenant- colonel, he went on the reserve and returned to private practice, first in Dublin in the partnership of Buchan, Kane & Smith (later Buchan, Kane & Foley). In about 1959 he established a branch of the firm in Cork, where he remained for the rest of his life. From circa 1970 he worked on his own, until he eventually became the oldest practising architect in Ireland, continuing to drive daily to his office until about two months before his death in 1991 at the age of 91. His wife, Nellie (née O'Brien), survived him.

RIBA: elected associate, 1927.(2)
RIAI: elected member, 1928.

For works until 1940 only, see under works of HARRINGTON & HARRINGTON & amp; BUCHAN. BUCHAN.


All information in this entry is from the obituaries of Buchan in the Cork Examiner, 19 Nov 1991 and RIAI Year Book (1993), 43, and from RIAI membership lists.

(1) IB 70, 18 Aug 1928, 717.
(2) RIBA Kalendar 1957-1958, 109.

2 work entries listed in chronological order for BUCHAN, WALTER JAMES (LT. COL.)

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Date: 1928
Nature: Competition entrant; his design for Class D house 'recommended for further consideration'. Competition promoted by Housing corporation of Great Britain, Ltd.
Refs: IB 70, 18 Aug 1928, 717

Date: 1933-1936
Nature: New hospital. By [J.J.] Winters&b [Eoghan] Buckley. On butterfly plan.
Refs: IB 76, 22 Sep 1934, 821; F. O’Dwyer, Irish Hospital Architecture, a pictorial history (Department of Health and Children, 1997), 20