Elisabeth Whitworth Scott was the daughter of a surgeon who had 9 siblings, and was a great-niece of the architects George Gilbert Scott and George Frederick Bodley and was also second cousins to Giles Gilbert Scott, who was the architect of the Liverpool Cathedral.

Scott was a British Architect who is best known for her Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon, England.  Scott entered a major, international design contest for the rights to the project with 72 other entries. Scott’s firm Scott, Chesterton & Shepherd was awarded the project, making her the first female architect to win an international completion of this statute. There was a sexist bias towards the firm as it was obvious that the design was Scott’s but the contract was awarded to her firm nonetheless.

The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre was not only the first public building to be built in a ‘modern’ style instead of a classical style, but also the first public building to be build by a female architect.  During the project Scott chose other women architects to assist her on the project anywhere she could. By hiring other women, she not only helped their careers, but also became a major influence in the acceptance of women in this profession.

Unfortunately the facilities and the narrowness of the proscenium were found to be inadequate, but much of the fault lay in the competition brief and in the expert advice Scott received. The theatre has been proposed to be completely demolished over the years, but it seems as though if any reconstruction to the property is done, Scott’s best sections will be left intact.  Scott and her firm’s other works include the Fawcett Building at Newnham College in Cambridge, the school at Henley on Thames in Oxon, a school in Northallerton, Yorks, and various houses. Scott also designed the pavilions on Bournemouth and Boscombe piers in Hants.

Royal Shakespear Theatre

Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Royal Shakespeare Theatre Picture via Wikipedia

Fawcett Building at

Fawcett Building at at Newnham College

Fawcett Building Picture via Newnham College

Bournemouth Pier

Bournemouth Pier

Bournemouth Pier Picture via Wikipedia.