When Doug Reid’s grandchildren walk around Dundee his presence will be felt.
For the 63-year-old architect was involved in the creation and restoration of some of the city’s most iconic structures.
This week, as his family and firm of almost 40 years come to terms with his death, we look at the life of the boy from Arbroath Road whose fingerprint of creativity can be seen all over the city.
The son of Ethel Torrie, a clerical officer for Dundee Corporation, and John Reid, a police sergeant in the city, Douglas John Reid came into the world on April 24, 1958.
Born in Mayfield Hospital, he and his younger sister, Brenda, lived near Baxter Park.
A later move to Hilltown police houses saw Doug attend Glebelands Primary School then later attend Morgan Academy.
Known for his love of academia and sports, Doug played basketball for the school as well as securing a place on the police team, thanks to his dad.
Falling for Lynn
Doug studied architecture at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Arts and Design, part of Dundee University.
During that time, while popping in and out of the sports department he first saw a young Lynn Duncan.
Meeting again by chance at a party in 1979, their relationship soon grew and the pair married on February 21, 1980.
Doug, 20, and half way through his course, and Lynn then just 19, moved to a flat in Constitution Street where Doug would cycle to university.
The couple would go on to to have three children: Jill, Allan and Claire.
Graduation to Glamis
Straight from university Doug joined James F Stephen Architects, based in Glamis in 1982.
He completed his part three professional practice qualifications with the practice and registered as an architect in 1983, spending his entire professional career within the same firm.
A tribute from James F Stephen Architects, read: “Doug’s professionalism, exceptional work ethic, passion for architecture and commitment to the practice led to him being invited to become an associate in 1987 and then to join Fred and Rosemary in the partnership in 1989.”
As well as his love for architecture, Doug was passionate about historic buildings and became accredited in advanced conservation architecture.
He also served two terms as a committee member of the Dundee Institute of Architects and was a past director of Tayside Building Preservation Trust.
Well known landmarks
Doug led multiple projects, some familiar and well-loved by the people of Tayside.
High Mill, Camperdown Works, the Open Gallery at Verdant Works, the Merchant’s House and Gardiner Memorial Church, Brechin, are but a few.
He was also the executive architect for the £1 million Maggie’s Centre in Dundee designed by Frank O’Ghery, and was executive and resident architect charged with bringing to life Kengo Kuma and Associates’ vision for the £80 Million V&A Museum of Design Dundee.
Church of Scotland and Roman Catholic Parish Churches throughout Scotland have used his services as did the Dundee Museum of Transport Trust, Braemar Royal Highland Society, the National Trust for Scotland, and 11 housing associations.
Peter Webber of Dundee Museum of Transport said: “We were fortunate enough to meet and work with Doug on our Maryfield project and receive his advice and wisdom. Our thoughts are with his family and all his colleagues.”
Sought after work
In Italy, Doug provided design services to adapt and re-use a historic Tuscan villa on the outskirts of Lucca to create a five-star boutique hotel.
Jill, Doug’s daughter, said: “While in later years Lanzarote was a favourite destination of our family, mum and dad did enjoy visiting Italy where my dad had done work.”
Doug’s love of conservation work allowed him to meet Prince Charles on more than one occasion.
“My dad loved Kinloch Castle on Rum – the one everyone says is Prince Charles’ favourite – and he was involved for a time in helping them preserve the building.”
He also did work in Paisley for an organisation funded by the Prince to develop a mill.
“Doug was very much a family man, who as well as being greatly missed in a professional capacity, his sense of humour and fun during office social events will be missed by us all,” said Fred, Rosemary, Paul and David from James F Stephen Architects, where Doug’s son Allan is also an architect.
Jill added: “My dad was just the biggest supporter of us and our families.
“When my brother, sister and I were studying he read every essay we ever wrote and, for a while, he was secretary of Forfar Albion juniors when my brother played for them. The club had a minute’s silence to remember my dad which was lovely.”
With six grandchildren and an array of Scottish buildings bearing his stamp, the Dundee United fan’s legacy will live on.
“He was the most calm, most sensible-headed man ever. Nothing phased him. So loyal and the first to champion us always. He was just there for us no matter what. He was great,” added Jill.
Diagnosed with Hodgins Lymphoma but in remission, he recently found out he had pulmonary fibrosis.
“We truly thought we’d have much longer with him than we did. He just became really short of breath and last week he died. It’s such a shock.”
A celebration of Doug’s life took place on Tuesday, August 31 at Dundee Crematorium.
Lynn said: “We are incredibly grateful for the cards, words, flowers and support shown to our family. It’s been a source of great comfort. “