Jane Durham, Chapman Taylor Founding Partner, 1930 - 2019

It is with sadness that we have learned of the recent death of Jane Durham, one of Chapman Taylor’s three founding partners.

Jane played a central role in building the practice, and helped provide the foundations upon which we are able to celebrate our 60th anniversary this year.

Born in London in 1930, Jane studied at the Bartlett School of Architecture, where she was one of only three female students in the first year. Six months after graduation in 1954, she answered an advertisement for a small architectural studio owned by Guy Morgan, where she was offered a job by Bob Chapman.

Jane worked with Bob on the Humphries Building project in Knightsbridge and on the rebuilding of the east side of Stanhope Gardens, as well as on a number of feasibility projects.

When Bob, with John Taylor, decided to set up a practice of their own in May 1959, they invited Jane to join them as a founding partner – an endeavour which involved a great personal financial risk on all their parts. The fledgling practice, which was first based at Grand House in Trafalgar Square, began work on a number of small residential projects.

It was at about this time that the firm received its famous commission to design what would later become the New Scotland Yard building in Westminster – the first of many internationally significant schemes for which Chapman Taylor would build an industry-leading reputation, becoming the global success it is today.

Jane was a key driving force behind that success – 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.

Jane retired from Chapman Taylor in 1990, but continued to stay in touch with the company she helped to found. She was a remarkable woman, and will be missed by those who were fortunate enough to know and work with her.

Jane Durham, 23-02-1930 – 29-03-2019

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