April 27, 2023 9.00 am This story is over 7 months old

The pioneering Lincoln architect behind some of city’s most iconic designs

Sam Scorer’s mark is felt all over city

The architect who designed some of Lincoln’s most striking buildings is remembered for his “terrific streak of originality”.

Sam Scorer was known as a pioneering designer who influenced other architects, and had a lasting impact on the city.

Among his works were the Lincolnshire Motor Company Showrooms on the Brayford, which were later converted into restaurants. American chain Five Guys submitted plans this week to become the latest occupant.

Lincoln-born Sam, full name Hugh Segar Scorer, became famous in the second half of the 20th century for building designs which pioneered curved ‘hyperbolic paraboloid’ roof styles.

Lucy Tower Car park was designed by Sam Scorer in the early 70s. | Photo: Daniel Jaines

His presence can still be felt in his home city, including his design of the Lucy Tower Car Park on the Brayford, while those travelling along the bypass might stop off at Damon’s Restaurant.

He designed St John the Baptist Church on the Ermine in 1962, which includes a hyperbolic paraboloid roof with a hexagonal floor plan.

In the city centre if you follow the Brayford down the River Witham, you’ll come across Waterside House, the former home of the Environment Agency.

He also founded the Sam Scorer Gallery in the Bailgate, which was designed in 2000. Sadly, the building recently closed and was turned into a dental surgery.

He also designed a number of other structures around the country, including a petrol station at Markham Moor, Nottinghamshire and a water tower in Ilkeston, Derbyshire.

His work has been seen and copied by a number of other architects.

City of Lincoln Council leader Ric Metcalfe, who moved to the city in 1975 and joined the authority in 1982, first became aware of Sam Scorer through the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and his membership of the Labour Party.

“He was known for this terrific streak of originality that he embraced and he was much admired really by his peers for being willing to take risks that more conventional architects might be unwilling to do,” said Councillor Metcalfe.

“He was quite a modest individual and wasn’t doing it so he had a legacy but he just had an interest in doing something different and more original.

“He was a great individualist and was never one to follow the crowd or the fashion.”

The former Sam Scorer Gallery became a dentist | Photo: Google

He said many of the buildings stood out “in a good way”.

“People will have all sorts of different opinions when somebody creates something new, different that isn’t just pastiche or an imitation of what’s gone before it will always create controversy.

“But in a way, if people are talking about a building and the design of a building that for me is a good thing.”

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