Earle Scott was among a generation of architects which was dedicated not only to the profession but also to the broader community. He has touched others with his selflessness, optimism and enthusiasm for the future of the profession (Landorf, 1999).
Scott was born in Adelaide on 30 April 1924 and educated at Scotch College. On leaving school in 1940 he worked for the South Australian Railways (Page, 1986). In 1942 he joined the Royal Australian Navy and served in the South Pacific arena during the Second World War until 1946. He gained a Fellowship Diploma in Architecture in 1953 from the South Australian School of Mines and Industries and a Bachelor of Engineering in Architecture from the University of Adelaide in 1954 (Scott, 1992, 2010; Page, 1986).
After a short period with the Commonwealth Department of Works, in 1951 Scott worked for F. Kenneth Milne, Dawkins, Boehm & Ellis from 1952 to 1954 (Page, 1986). He then joined the architectural firm of Garlick and Jackman in 1954 as a graduate architect. In 1959 he became a partner, the firm becoming Jackman Gooden and Scott Architects (Lee, 1979). When John Brian Swan became a partner in 1964 the firm became Jackman Gooden Scott & Swan Architects. In 1976 the firm became a proprietary limited company and Scott served as Chairman until 1983. He then served as a Director of the renamed Jackman Gooden Architects until his retirement in 1992 (Landorf, 1999).
His major commissions included alterations, additions and fit-out for Cox-Foys Department Store in Rundle Street, Adelaide (1959) which included a rooftop fairground boasting a ferris wheel. Other major projects in Adelaide were premises for Motor Traders Ltd on Wakefield Street, Adelaide (1964, now demolished), the head offices of the State Government Insurance Commission in Waymouth Street and the Southern Farmers Group in Franklin Street (Landorf, 1999). In all his work Scott emphasised the use of natural materials such as timber and brick and believed that buildings should fit into their environment and be pleasant to look at. His approach was rewarded when he was presented with both the Clay Brick House Award and the Distinguished Achievement in Timber Award for his own house at Torrens Park in 1977 and the Clay Brick Award for the 'Hecker' House in Belair in 1988.
To keep abreast of design and technical developments, Scott travelled to Asia, Europe and the United States. Scott, who registered as an architect in South Australia in 1954 and later registered in the Northern Territory, was elected an associate of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) (SA Chapter) in 1954 and was President of the Chapter from 1971 to 1972. He was made a Fellow of the RAIA in 1964, Life Fellow in 1976.
In 1999 he was awarded the Sir James Irwin President's Medal for service to, and the promotion of, the profession of architecture. He was awarded the Order of Australia in 2006 for service to architecture and the community through welfare for persons with disabilities and adaptive reuse of heritage buildings.