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BLANC, Louis David

Born: 1877 01 16
Died: 1944 05 08

Architect


Year registered: 1938

LRIBA 1911; FRIBA 1938

In South Africa Blanc is known as the designer of Stuttaford's Department Store, Cape Town, Bright FRASER was resident architect for the scheme. Blanc was born in Edinburgh and educated at Daniel Stewart's College, Edinburgh. He became a pupil in the office in Edinburgh of his uncle, Hippolyte Blanc of Edinburgh, RSA, FRIBA, JP, from 1893-8. He was also a student at the School of Applied Art, Edinburgh, the Royal Institution School of Art, Edinburgh, and at Heriot Watt College, Edinburgh, where he won the Queen's Prize for Architectural Design in 1898. His obituary in The Builder notes him as the 'son of the late Hippolyte Blanc' which appears to be a mistake. He went to London in 1899, becoming assistant to Charles Ferguson, FSA and to Crickmay & Sons and attended evening classes at the Architectural Association. He joined the architectural staff of the London County Council where he remained from 1904 until 1920 in which period he was elected a Licentiate member of the RIBA (1911) and had four years' war service with the Artists' Rifles, becoming a Lieutenant, ROYAL ENGINEERS Territorial. In 1920 he left the London County Council and entered private practice as architect to Harrods Store and Associated Companies, during which time he rebuilt the Basil Street frontage of Harrods and designed the banking hall for the same premises. He also built DH Evans in Oxford Street and, in association with JJ Joass, designed Swan & Edgar's store in Piccadilly Circus. He also designed Kendal Milne & Co, Manchester with a Mr Beaumont and contributed to technical journals, chiefly on store design. He came to South Africa in 1938 where he made a number of controversial remarks, gave several talks to the Cape Provincial Institute of Architects, one of which was printed in the Architect, Builder and Engineer (June 1937:12-14: 'A British architect looks at South Africa') and designed Stuttaford's main store in Cape Town (1938-1942).

Blanc lectured on architectural subjects for twenty-two years at evening classes at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, Putney School of Art and Westminster Technical Institute and was Secretary of the RIBA Buildings Act Committee for seven years and a member of the RIBA Professional Practice Committee for four years. His obituary says that his expert knowledge and amiable personality made him an ideal Honorary Secretary of the London Building Act Committee of the RIBA. He died in London.

BLANC is also listed in the Dictionary of Scottish Architects.

(AB&E Jun 1937:5, 6, 12-14; Cape Times dir 1940; FRIBA nom papers (1938) 3502; ISAA mem list; RIBA biog file; The Builder Jul 1944:77 obit)

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.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes


Stuttaford's main building: 1938. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Woolworths: c1936. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect

Books citing BLANC

Rennie, John for CPIA. 1978. The Buildings of Central Cape Town 1978. Volume Two : Catalogue. Cape Town: Cape Provincial Institute of Architects. pp 161