Was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and served articles with J Baird and J Thomson, FFRIBA, in Glasgow from 1879 to 1885. He became a junior assistant in the office for a very short time before leaving in 1885 for South Africa to improve his health. In his application for Licentiate membership of the RIBA (1911) he stated that after having spent some time 'up country' he entered W STREET-WILSON's office in Durban in 1893 or 1894 before he 'was taken into partnership' in 1894, the firm becoming STREET-WILSON & FYFE. During his five years of partnership he carried out the design of several buildings, among them the Durban railway station, the Durban market house and the Durban police station. He left the partnership in 1897 and set up his own practice; he appears to have left Natal in about 1907.
Fyfe was a founder member of the Natal Institute of Architects in 1901, and was elected to its first Council in 1902, to became vice-president in 1903 and in the same year was elected president on the death of WE ROBARTS, the Institute's first president. Fyfe was frequently called in as arbitrator for Government and Municipal Boards on occasions such as the 1894 Ladysmith Town Hall dispute, the Colonial Office Building dispute in Pietermaritzburg in 1902 and the Pietermaritzburg General Post Office dispute of 1905.
By 1911 Fyfe appears to have settled in England since when he applied for Licentiate membership of the RIBA in 1911 he was living at One Oak, Foxley Lane, Purley, Surrey, having 'retired from colonial service' (LRIBA nomination papers 1911), noting further that 'Mr DUNN (of DUNN & WATSON) knows of my Durban practice. My firm carried out for his firm (the) Union Castle Buildings in Durban ... other architect friends in London are CHB Quennell (F) and SJ Tatchell (L) of Westminster'. Fyfe appears to have retired, perhaps because of ill-health, since he says that he was applying for RIBA membership 'simply to keep in touch' with the profession at Home, through the medium of the Institute.
There is also a listing of this practitioner on the Dictionary of Scottish Architects.
(LRIBA nom papers (1911) 780)
All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.
Books citing FYFE
|Hillebrand, Melanie. 1975. Aspects of architecture in Natal, 1880 1914. Pietermaritzburg: Unpublished MA. Dept Fine Art and History of Art, University of Natal. pp |