Monday, August 29, 2016

Henry Percy Smith: The man who designed Elizabeth

Henry Percy Smith

Site architect for the SA Housing Trust, puts on paper the main technical planning  for Elizabeth.
Born 8 April 1915 in Templestowe Victoria.  He always liked to draw and took naturally to working in an architect’s office.  Seeking adventure the 20 year old sailed for England in 1934, living there for 14 years.   In England he studied as an architect and in 1938 entered the Air Ministry drawing office.  He planned RAF airfields and bases.  When war came he served in the RAF on an airfield he had planned.  He served as a sergeant instructor teaching recruits to fly in Tiger Moths, before he returned to the Air Ministry.

Now married, he returned to Australia and won a post as an architect with the SA Housing Trust in 1948.  From 1951 he was the Trust’s site architect. When he started the concept of a six neighbourhood satellite town existed and it was his job to design it.  The design of Elizabeth was ahead of its time with open areas for community parks and ovals close to all the homes.  It was standard practice to have 12% as open space, but Elizabeth managed 25%.
Henry continued to work for SAHT until 1976 when he retired.  He passed away in 2010.

During his years at Elizabeth he took numerous photographs of the growing area. Here are a few.



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