Each month we like to honour an architect who pushes the boundaries and has made a significant contribution to the architectural field. Our first Architect of the Month for 2018 is Elisabeth Scott.
Elisabeth was born in 1898, her second cousin was Giles Gilbert Scott, architect of Battersea Power Station. George Gilbert Scott was her great uncle, architect of the Midland Hotel at St Pancras Station.
In 1924, Scott was one of the first women to train at the Architectural Association, after it started to admit them onto courses. Scott was the first British, female architect to win a major international competition to design the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, in Stratford upon Avon. After her win she employed female architects, wherever possible, to help her with the design. She was not an outspoken feminist, Scott always had an issue with being labelled as a ‘female architect’ as she felt this did not define her and disliked the attention.
The Shakespeare Theatre was given listed status in 1980 and Scott was commemorated in the 2015 British Passport redesign, which ironically caused a sexism row, the exact type of attention Scott wanted to avoid.
“I belong to the modernist school of architects. By that I mean I believe the function of the building to be the most important thing to be considered.”
Some of Her Famous Designs
Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
Pier Theatre, Bournemouth
Marie Curie Hospital, Hampstead
Fawcett Building, Newham College, Cambridge
School at Henley on Thames in Oxon
School in Northallerton, Yorkshire
Pavilion on Boscombe Pier
“In terms of the theatre the acoustics and sight lines must come first…At the same time I have taken full advantage of the exceptionally beautiful site on the banks of the Avon.”