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LIGHTFOOT, Brodrick St Clair

Born: 1905 04 18
Died: 1970


Reg No: 538
Year registered: 1930

Lightfoot was born in Canada where he was educated at St John's College, Winnipeg and came to South Africa as a child. He continued his education at Durban Boys' High School and then at Wynberg Boys' High School, Cape. He was apprenticed to John PERRY in Cape Town, and attended classes at the University of Cape Town. In 1925 he left South Africa for the University of Liverpool School of Architecture where he studied under Professor Reilly until 1929. South African contemporaries at Liverpool included WG HOLFORD and J COWIN. In 1928, as a fourth-year student he spent the vacation working as an assistant in the office of Carrere & Hastings in New York. Lightfoot returned to Cape Town and entered the office of KENDALL & MANSERGH in 1929. When he registered with the Institute of South African Architects in 1930 his address was c/o HA McQUEEN. From May 1935 he was in partnership with J PERRY (cf PERRY & LIGHTFOOT) and played an important role in the partnership, 'Bob was an extremely gifted and efficient designer ... he won for his firm two important competitions, the Johannesburg Public Library (this needs to be confirmed as the library was built in 1931) and the Johannesburg Magistrate's Courts and was responsible for the British High Commissioner's Office in Parliament St which was awarded the Bronze Medal of the Cape Provincial Institute' (A&B Dec 1970:31).

Lightfoot was actively interested in architectural education and served as external examiner in architecture at the University of Cape Town in about 1940; he was elected President of the Cape Provincial Institute of Architects in 1940, retiring from the position in July 1940 to enlist for active service in the Second World War. He returned to Cape Town, and was elected President-in-Chief of the Institute of South African Architects in 1946. In his acceptance speech, he referred enthusiastically to Brazil Builds, an influential publication at the time, and to his own visit to Brazil. It was evident that many South Africans were looking forward to a building programme which would reflect the wholeheartedness of Brazil's approach to architecture and building immediately postwar. By 1951 he was a partner in the firm LIGHTFOOT, TWENTYMAN-JONES & KENT. He retired in 1970 and died the same year.

Reg Prob RIBA Cape Town 1923-4; ARIBA 1929; ISAA 1930. (A&B Dec 1970:31 obit; ARIBA nom papers (1929) 4403; ISAA mem list; SA Archt Apr 1940:24, 25 port; SAAR Jun 1946:144-5)

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.