Battersea Power Station, London: view from across the River Thames (1955)
Designer: Halliday, James Theodore (1882-1932); Scott, Sir Giles Gilbert (1880-1960)
Copyright: Architectural Press Archive/RIBA British Architectural Library Photographs Collection (c1955)
Scott descended from a family of architects, being the grandson of Sir George Gilbert Scott (already a Royal Gold Medallist), the son of George Gilbert Scott, and the nephew of John Oldrid Scott.
Giles Gilbert Scott was articled to Temple Lushington Moore in 1899 and was able to develop his own architectural style during this period. Giles was also privy to his father’s designs – which were regarded as infinitely superior to those of his grandfather (although this view was not commonly shared by others in the architectural field).
Scott’s best-known work, and also the work which he spent most of his life on, was Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. He won the competition in 1902, when he was just 22, and the Dean and Chapter of the cathedral recommended that, because of his youth, Scott should work on the designs with George Frederick Bodley, a member of the cathedral design panel. Unfortunately, Bodley and Scott did not see eye to eye, and Scott was about to leave the project when Bodley suddenly died in 1907. This meant that Scott could continue the project in his style – by redesigning out Bodley’s contributions. Liverpool Cathedral was consecrated in 1924 although the tower was not completed for another 18 years, and the nave after Scott’s death. The cathedral was finally finished in 1980.
Other key works of Scott include the Church of the Annunciation in Bournemouth (1906); the memorial court at Clare College, Cambridge (1923-34); the William Booth Memorial Training College, South London (1932); and Battersea Power Station, London (1933).
'One of a long line, or shall we say dynasty, of architects and he is one of two men who, hardly out of their teens, have adorned Liverpool with two of its distinguished buildings - Liverpool Cathedral and St Paul's Church.'
Scott was also famous for the red K2 GPO telephone box which graced many a British street. The classical structure of the box was the favourite with the judges and was put into mass production from 1935.