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Chapman Taylor partner Jane Durham dies, aged 89

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Jane Durham, a pioneering female architect and partner at New Scotland Yard practice Chapman Taylor, has died, aged 89

Durham was the last surviving founding partner of the successful practice, following the deaths of John Taylor in 1999 and Bob Chapman in 2017.

Chapman Taylor earned instant respect upon completion of its first major commission in 1967 – the Miesian building in Westminster or, as it became known, New Scotland Yard.

The practice is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, and just this month its 1992 Postmodernist former Pearl Assurance HQ near Peterborough was Grade II listed.

Durham was born in London in 1930, studying at the Bartlett School of Architecture, one of only three female students in her first year.

After graduating in 1954 she was offered a job by Chapman at a small architectural studio owned by Guy Morgan.

At the end of the decade she was invited by Chapman and Taylor to become their third partner and the trio began working on small housing schemes from their Trafalgar Square base.

029 wt new scotland yard london uk

New Scotland Yard, London

Source: Chapman Taylor

New Scotland Yard, London

New Scotland Yard catapulted the practice into the international arena and it has never looked back.

Chapman Taylor played a role on Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 and has worked around the world including in Italy, Germany, Azerbaijan, Vietnam, China, Qatar and Doha. It has won more than 250 design awards.

Last October the practice’s proposed overhaul of a site in central Coventry was approved by councillors.

Durham is credited by the current practice as ‘a key driving force’ behind its growth and success. She retired from Chapman Taylor in 1990 but continued to stay in touch with the company.

‘She worked tirelessly in a number of roles to ensure that the practice thrived, with her energy and multi-tasking abilities providing one of the main pillars on which the practice depended for its development,’ said Chapman Taylor board director Chris Lanksbury.

‘She was a remarkable woman, and will be missed by those who were fortunate enough to know and work with her.’

  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • A co-founder of the practice, but excluded from the name.

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  • Good point Robert...Chapman Taylor Durham has a certain gravitas and ring to it—it is never too late for a name change in honour of the great lady. Two names only sounds unstable, so it is always best to go for the 'tripod' option, where organisation names are concerned, anyway.

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