Arch (AA, London)
ARIBA (1928); ISAA (1928); CPIA (1928); NIA (1929).
The Institute of South African Architects' membership list gives 1899 as Woodrow's birth date and his own ARIBA nomination papers give 1900.
Woodrow was born in King William's Town, son of EJC Woodrow. He was educated at De la Salle Brothers, and Dale College, both of King Williams Town. His father wrote to the chief architect of the PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT, Pretoria, asking him if he would keep an eye on his son's progress with his education in the PWD. Woodrow thus received his training in the PWD in Pretoria, where he remained from February 1920 to August 1925. He was employed by the PWD on the Union Buildings. His training included nine months in the Quantity Surveyor's Department, PWD, three months specification writing and nine months supervision of works in the course of erection. Woodrow, in his entry (SAWW 1963:840), records being educated at the University of the Witwatersrand. He further records that he served with the Pretoria Regiment in the 1922 Miners Revolt on the Rand (SAWW 1963:840).
In August 1925 he won the Malcomess Scholarship which enabled him to study at the Architectural Association in London. He began his studies there in in January 1926, completing the fourth and fifth year courses. He records that in this period he served with the London Metropolitan (Marylebone) Police Force during the 1926 General Strike in London (SAWW 1963:840). In about 1927 his address in London was c/o LH Bricknell, ARIBA.
Around 1928 he returned to South Africa. He registered with the Institute of South African Architects in King William's Town in 1928 but transferred his membership to the NPIA in 1929 with his move to Durban in that year. He practised in Durban from 1929. In 1932 he was placed second in the competition for King Edward VIII Hospital, Durban. He also spiritedly defended LUTYENS's controversial design for the new Catholic Cathedral in Liverpool, his letter being published in the Architect, Builder & Engineer (Aug 1933) and apparently a response to a view expressed in the Architect, Builder & Engineer that Lutyens's building was a deliberate attempt to upstage Sir GG Scott's neighbouring Anglican Cathedral. As a Catholic practitioner he co-founded the Catholic Order of the Knights of Da Game (SAWW 1963:840).
Woodrow was active in the profession in Durban until at least 1972, serving as President of the Natal Institute of Architects in 1950, 1951 and 1960. According to Kearney (Revised List 1984: 16:68) Woodrow 'became the chief local architectural protagonist of the Tudor Revival during (this) period 1930's-1940's in Durban'. A number of Woodrow's drawings and papers have been donated to the University of Natal School of Architecture Library.
In 1959 he was in partnership with AJ COLLINGWOOD (cf WOODROW & COLLINGWOOD). He must have retired before 1969 because he is not listed in the ISAA Yearbook of that year.
(AB&E Aug 1933:30; ARIBA nom papers (1928); HSRC Cleland Papers; ISAA mem list; SAAR Feb 1932)
Submitted and entry for the Competition for the new Prime Minister's Residence - unplaced.
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All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.
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