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Title: Modernising tradition : the architectural thought of Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960)
Author: Lewis, David Frazer
ISNI:       0000 0004 5349 3638
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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The architect Giles Gilbert Scott (1880 – 1960) designed the red telephone kiosk, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, Battersea Power Station, and the House of Commons Chamber amongst other major projects. Yet this thesis is the first scholarly study of his work as a theorist and practitioner. Scott’s ideas provide a window into how architects, critics, and clients of his generation thought about architecture, helping us to understand the design of the interwar period in a way that the backward projection of our own intellectual frameworks cannot do. Often relegated to a minor place in architectural histories, in his time Scott was one of the best known architects in the world, author of numerous iconic structures and widely influential. By returning him to a prominent place in the narrative, the thesis reveals a world in which so-called traditionalists and modernists were concerned with the exploration of common themes – the social role of the architect, the psychological effect of buildings, the nature of construction and tradition. The first two chapters explore Scott’s ideas about history and architectural context by investigating his work at Oxford and Cambridge. The third chapter focuses on his church work as a way of understanding his ideas about tradition and the role of psychology in architecture. The fourth chapter explores the ways that he gave meaning to his designs using rhetoric and planning. Set against the backdrop of the postwar decline of his reputation, the final chapter examines the legacy of his architectural theories. By returning Scott to the historical narrative, our understanding of interwar architecture is greatly broadened. And by expanding our knowledge of the least understood era of twentieth century architecture, we come to better understand how modern architecture as we know it was forged.
Supervisor: Tyack, Geoffrey; Whyte, William; Wright, Alistair Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Architecture ; Giles Gilbert Scott