Fry and Drew: Online Resources

Do you know these men?!

We are currently compiling a list of architectural and administrative staff employed by the various incarnations of the Fry and Drew partnership, from their pre-marriage work of the 1930s right through to the 1970s. The aim is to include a database in the forthcoming publication.

 13.1.10 GP office

© Sheffield Hallam University. Duncan Horne Collection, c. 1960.

This image is taken from architect Duncan Horne’s collection of photographs held at Sheffield Hallam University and available to view from their excellent online catalogue, Shimmer.

Horne trained at Liverpool School of Architecture and then worked for Fry and Drew at their offices at 63 Gloucester Place in London. His photograph neatly shows what life was like as a Fry and Drew staff architect around 1960, sat at a drawing board with pipe in hand. The smart chap, far left, is Duncan Horne, according to the Shimmer catalogue – can anyone confirm this?

Fry and Drew had lived and worked at the Georgian terrace since the 1940s, which became an open house for the artistic community at the time. As another former employee Trevor Dannatt commented recently at a docomomo-uk lecture, ‘the Fry’s ran a very hospitable house […] it was a place of great ferment.’

We would be very pleased to hear from anyone who worked for Fry and Drew, or knows of any former employees. Leave a comment or contact us at:

  1. russell patterson said:

    I refer to your request for information here:

    In case no one else has confirmed it, I can attest that the gentleman on the left is indeed Duncan Horne. I worked in the office of Hely, Bell and Horne in Sydney as an office boy studying architecture part time at UNSW in about 1963-4(?).

    Duncan was in many ways the brains of the outfit with a dapper demeanour (always wore a bow tie usually purple) and a wicked sense of humour. He was a bachelor, and often teased in the office for his apparently numerous lady friends, although I have no first hand knowledge of his private life.

    He designed the St Johns Village at Glebe for the Anglican church and won the RAIA Sulman Award for architecture for it (which I predicted). I didn’t have a lot of contact with him, but I remember him rifling through some butter paper sketches for the project done by Bell, and muttering with a giggle “look at this he’s tried everything” (unsuccessfully).

    Whilst I was in the office he also designed the Bankstown Square Shopping Centre which was a fairly brutalist 1960’s shopping mall, and I believe only the second such mall in Sydney. I remember building him a model in balsa to show the client.

    He probably also had a hand in the little office building next to St Margaret’s Church which bears his style and is located just south of the harbour bridge opposite Grosvenor Street. Both the office tower and the St John’s village were adjacent to 19th century Edmund Blackett churches which are considered to be of local significance.

    Duncan’s approach to design was classic; every plan started with a square or a combination of squares and some inexplicable reason it always seemed to work. In later years the firm broke up to form Hely and Horne and Bell and Smith; both firms survive but I suspect the principals are long dead.

    Hely Bell and Horne was one of half a dozen small but ground breaking practices in Sydney, the most important of which was Harry Seidler and Associates. This combination was sometimes referred to outside Sydney as “snow white and the seven dwarfs”.

    • Howard Patterson said:

      I believe that Duncan Horne joined the Herbert F. Hely and Noel Bell partnership some time in 1962.

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