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Scott, Elisabeth Whitworth

Scott, Elisabeth Whitworth (1898–1972). English architect, a great-niece of ‘Great’ Scott. After the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwicks., was burned down in 1926 a competition was held to select a design for a new building, and Scott won it in 1928, so she became the first woman to win a major architectural competition and to undertake an important British public commission. Alison Sleigh (fl.1920–32) and J. C. Shepherd (1896–1978) (who later married) had helped her with the competition drawings, and in 1929 Scott formed a partnership, in order to build the theatre, with Shepherd and Maurice Chesterton (1883–1962), in whose office she was working at the time of her success. The theatre was completed in 1932, and was severely criticized for its modernity (derived from North European exemplars). Once the Stratford project was completed, Scott formed a new partnership with John Breakwell (c.1905–1960), the firm being renamed Scott, Shepherd, and Breakwell, which designed the Fawcett Building, Newnham College, Cambridge, finished in 1938. Other works included the school at Henley-on-Thames, Oxon. (1935–6), another school in Northallerton, Yorks. (1939–41), and various houses, including one at Morden, Surrey (1933), which was mildly Modernist. After the 1939–45 war, Scott worked in Bournemouth, and after 1962 she designed the pavilions on Bournemouth and Boscombe piers, Hants. After building a house in Swanage, Dorset, she retired from practice in 1968.


Gavin Stamp ;
Jane Turner (1996);
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004)

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