Robert Andrew Walker BArch, RIBA (ret),
FNZIA, ACIArb, GradDipl Cons (AA) 1944 - 2016

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The AA is sad to report of the death of AA alumnus Robert Walker (BArch, RIBA (ret), FNZIA, ACIArb, GradDipl Cons (AA)). Robert Walker was an alumnus of the post-graduate Diploma in Building Conservation course at the AA, receiving the Diploma in 2004. He developed an enduring interest in historic buildings over a long career working in the practice founded by Sir Frederick Gibberd, which included many pioneering conservation projects, as well as iconic modernist designs. 

Rob Walker was born in New Zealand in 1944 and educated at St Paul’s College and Auckland University, graduating in 1968 and registering as an architect in 1971. Two years later he joined Frederick Gibberd’s practice in London, and qualified for UK registration at Kingston University in 1976. He was then made an Associate, becoming a partner in 1982.  He eventually took over the running of the practice and was responsible for Gibberds joining together with a number of other leading UK architectural and engineering firms to found their own mutual insurance association: this innovative arrangement, providing Professional Indemnity Insurance in a risk-averse consortium, has proved to be highly successful. He also oversaw the introduction of a formal Quality Management System, and Fredrick Gibberd Partnership became one of the first architectural practices to receive accreditation under ISO 9001. As the industry moved into the digital age, Rob steered the practice through the various challenges, which he faced with his customary good humour and no-nonsense approach. 

Rob worked on many successful projects including the Riverdale development in Lewisham, which featured the restoration of an early 19th century water-powered corn mill, and a large development for the Crown Estate on Oxford Street, which incorporated the surviving portions of a scheme by Bannister Fletcher. He specialised in directing and co-ordinating projects during their detailed design development, and through the tendering and construction phases of commissions; he was also responsible for the administration of a range of contract types in a variety of procurement routes.

Rob had a detailed knowledge of construction law, and was a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He was made a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects in 1993. He was a member of the Association of Consultant Architects and a member of the Court of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects, one of the Livery Companies of the City of London.  

After his retirement he pursued various interests including the restoration of various Eighteenth century farm buildings in France, and to the production of oil from the many olive groves which he brought back into cultivation.  He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, whom he met at the practice, and their two sons, Robert and Alexander.


Peter Blundell
Jones AADipl MA(Cantab) 1949 -2016

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The AA is sad to learn that AA alumnus and former AA lecturer Blundell Jones has died, following a battle with cancer. Blundell Jones trained as an architect at the AA before holding academic positions at the University of Cambridge, London South Bank University, and the AA. A supervisor of many dissertation projects and PhDs, he chaired the judging panel for the RIBA President’s Medal for student dissertations between 2006 and 2011. At the time of his death Jones was professor of architecture at the University of Sheffield, where he had worked since 1994. Architects, academics and journalists have paid tribute to Peter Blundell Jones, and an obituary was published in Architect’s Journal.

Image: J Till P Blundell Jones book signing 2005. Courtesy of Valerie Bennett, AA Photo Library.


Pascal Schöning HonAADipl 1939-2016

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We learnt over the weekend with great sadness of the death of Pascal Schöning. Pascal taught at the AA from 1983 through to 2008 in Diploma Unit 3. This was a much loved Unit for many generations of pupils; whether what he was teaching was architecture, was a much wider question for external examiners and for rigid professionals. Pascal himself relished the fact that his students’ final work rarely contained a building. But behind his façade of indifference to much architectural production, he was in fact an acute critic of architecture which seemed to flow in his blood. His answer to the question of what flowed in his blood was that he was descended from Karl Friedrich Schinkel and had been brought up in one of his villas. Over the years, increasingly his teaching and his interests focused upon film. Initially, this was born of an absorption in the Nouvelle Vague of French cinema starting in the late 50’s. The cinema of Jean Luc Goddard, in particular Le Mépris, captured him.

Pascal was born in Germany during World War II and his childhood memories fixed on the bombing of Hanover and Berlin. The flickering light of the bombing was his enduring memory. By twenty he was studying architecture in Berlin but certainly that did not take up too much of his time. The claims of theatre, the visual arts, film and politics absorbed him. In 1983, given the exhaustion and defeat of the challenge to the state, and the partial repression of its Nazi past, he moved to the AA to teach. Over the next years he taught both at the AA as well as at the Bartlett and East London Polytechnic as it was then. He had a talent for finding and releasing students’ projects. His pedagogy was based on permitting an extended collective discussion to take place from which individual students would take away what they gained and transform it towards drawing and video. In later years this teaching led him to what he conceived as Cinematic Architecture, an architecture more concerned with space and events than with physical buildings and materials.  He was the author of ‘A Manifesto for a Cinematic Architecture’ (2006), and ‘Cinematic Architecture 1993-2008’, both published by AA Publications.

Later in his career, he developed a serious cancer of the jaw. It was entirely characteristic that his friends and colleagues had to bully him to seek medical help. Although he was cured, his health remained frail. The effects of increasing deafness were only mitigated by the fact that, as he said, he never really bothered to listen to people. His continuing liveliness was undoubtedly attributable to a continuous diet of cigarettes. At his retirement he was awarded an honorary AA Diploma. He was hardly able to speak about his feelings; his love for the school and for its students was enacted daily in his teaching.

Mark Cousins, 4 July 2016

(image: Pascal in the AA Cinema, which he inaugurated in 2009, photographed by Valerie Bennett)


Dennis Bailey 1931–2016

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It is with great sadness to report on the recent death of the graphic designer and illustrator Dennis Bailey. Dennis was the art director of AA Files for its first 22 issues (later succeeded by his wife Nicola), and in this capacity he developed not just the format but the elegant layout and typography of the journal in its first ten years – models still integral to the design of AA Files today. Dennis was part of the golden generation of English postwar graphic designers – alongside Alan Fletcher, Derek Birdsall and Richard Hollis – and in addition to his work for the AA, he art directed Town magazine, taught at Chelsea School of Art, and produced covers and editorial designs for Penguin, The Listener, The Economist, New Statesman, the British Council and the Arts Council. 


Jane Fawcett MBE Hon FRIBA LRAM ARCM Grad Dipl Cons AA 1921 - 2016

The AA is sad to report that architectural historian, and former AA tutor and lecturer, Jane Fawcett has died, aged 95. Fawcett was academic tutor and lecturer to the Building Conservation Graduate Course at the AA during the 1970s, the Secretary and Committee member of the International Council on Monuments and Sites UK, architectural consultant to the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Council member of the CPRE. She re-surveyed the list of Historic Buildings for English Heritage, was consultant to the English Heritage Tourise Board on Cathedrals and Tourism, and was awarded the MBE and Hon FRIBA for services to conservation.

Below is an obituary published in the Guardian. Obituaries and tributes were also published in The Times and Telegraph

Jane Fawcett was still in her teens when she began working at Bletchley Park. After the second world war she became a singer and then a conservationist.

It was typical of Jane Fawcett’s forthright style that after being introduced in 2014 to the Duchess of Cambridge, who was visiting Bletchley Park’s refurbished Hut 6, where Germany’s wartime Enigma ciphers were broken, she refused to let go of the duchess’s hand until she had told her how important the women who worked there had been in winning the second world war.

Fawcett, who has died aged 95, was one of thousands of young women recruited to work at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, during the war, carrying out every role from clerical work to codebreaking. It was not who, or what, you were at Bletchley that mattered; it was what you were capable of. Fawcett was proud of having made her own contribution in May 1941 when the Royal Navy was trying to track down the German navy’s most up-to-date battleship, Bismarck, in the north Atlantic.

The Admiralty had not believed the Bletchley Park analysts who told them that the Bismarck was heading for France until shortly after Fawcett came on shift in Hut 6. She was just 20. Working as a decoder, typing what seemed like gibberish into a British Typex cipher machine modified to operate like the German Enigma machine, she realised that the message emerging in German revealed that the Bismarck was heading for the French port of Brest. It was this vital piece of information, confirming what the Bletchley analysts had been saying, which allowed the Royal Navy to track down and sink the Bismarck before she reached French shores.

She was born Janet Caroline Hughes in London, the daughter of George, the clerk of the Goldsmiths’ livery company, and his wife, Margaret (nee Graham), and was educated at Miss Ironside’s school for “young ladies” in South Kensington, which saw no value in young women taking exams or going to university. In an early display of independence, she dropped the last letters of both her given names and thereafter was known only as Jane.

She won a scholarship to Rada, but turned it down to train as a dancer under Ninette de Valois at Sadler’s Wells, where she shared studios with the young Margot Fonteyn. But after landing a part in Swan Lake, Fawcett was told by De Valois: “Your back’s too long and you’re too tall. We can’t use you.”

Her parents sent her and a friend to Switzerland to learn German under the tutelage of a doctor in the Zurich suburb of Rüschlikon, but, deciding that it was too boring, they decamped to St Moritz. Jane was then forced reluctantly to endure “the season” in London, the year when young upper-class women in their late teens attended a series of parties, and events such as Wimbledon and Ascot, and were presented to the Queen.

She was recruited to Bletchley along with a number of other debutantes deemed unlikely, by the nature of their background, to spill the beans. That idiosyncratic approach soon collapsed under the immense pressure of breaking first the German and Italian codes and then those of the Japanese, and by the end of the war two-thirds of the more than 10,000 people working at Bletchley were women drawn from all social backgrounds.

Mavis Batey, one of the leading codebreakers and a close friend of Fawcett, would later point out that it was a place where “a girl of 19 with a bright idea would be encouraged to take it forward, long before any official equality for women”.

In 1947, Jane married Ted Fawcett, a former Royal Navy officer whom she had met during the war. She studied singing at the Royal Academy of Music while having their two children. “I went to my final exam with one of my children inside me and the other one asleep in a carrycot and the examiners kept asking me if I wanted to sit down because I was seven months’ pregnant,” she said.

She sang professionally for 15 years, undertaking operatic and recital work; her most prominent roles were Scylla in Scylla et Glaucus and trouser roles such as Octavian in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro. But the strain of touring while bringing up her children led her to quit and become the secretary of the Victorian Society, set up by Nikolaus Pevsner and others to preserve Britain’s historic buildings.

She and Pevsner, backed by John Betjeman and Prince Philip, waged a successful campaign against British Rail’s attempts to demolish London’s great Victorian rail terminuses. BR bosses dubbed her “the furious Mrs Fawcett” and she always regarded saving St Pancras station and its Midland Grand Hotel as being one of her most important achievements.

Fawcett stepped down in 1976. She was appointed MBE for her services to conservation and elected an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. She then set up a groundbreaking building conservation course at the Architectural Association and was pleased to discover that one of her students had recently been commissioned to work on saving the historic buildings at Bletchley Park.

Ted died in 2013. Fawcett is survived by her son, James, and daughter, Caroline.

Andrew Shepherd, former Building Conservation Course Director, represented the AA at the memorial service for Jane Fawcett(1921-2016),longstanding staff member of that Course, in Petersham on 30th July, also attended by a number of her past students 


Janet Jack 1934 - 2016

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Janet Jack graduated from the AA in 1957 following which she worked as an architect in both the UK and in the USA before turning to a career in Landscape Architecture in 1963. At that time Landscape Architecture was in its infancy as a profession. Janet worked in the mid-sixties for Sylvia Crowe, one of the few nationally recognised Landscape Architects, whilst studying, and graduated in 1971. She immediately set up her own practice and worked continuously in the profession, nationally and internationally, until she retired in 2007. Her architectural training at the AA and her office experience as an architect were fundamental in shaping her approach to designing the settings for buildings, and other types of landscape projects. Another prime influence was Danish landscape, and particularly the work of Professor Sorenson in Copenhagen, and she visited Denmark several times throughout her career to study their work.

In the 1970’s Janet Jack designed a number of projects, both large and small, mainly for architects she knew from the AA who were her friends. The largest of these projects was the three acre public park in the centre of a large social housing development at Alexandra Road, near Swiss Cottage, designed by Neave Brown for Camden Council. Both the architectural project and the park have subsequently been listed by English Heritage. By the end of the 1970’s Janet had become a nationally recognised top landscape architect in the UK.

During the 1980’s she merged her practice into Building Design Partnership, a large architectural practice which included other professional disciplines, but not landscape. Janet Jack was asked to create and lead a new landscape architectural division within the practice, which she did very successfully, and during that decade she designed many significant projects. These included the landscape for the Channel Tunnel Terminal at Folkstone, where the landscape design was very important as the site was in an area designated as of ‘outstanding natural beauty’. Another major project was an acre garden over Canon Street station.

Having attained the objective of setting up, a major national and international landscape practice in BDP she retired in 1991 and re-established her own practice, which enabled her to concentrate on her own projects. Some of these were for her AA friends. The Tate Britain gardens, including those around the Turner extension designed by Sir James Stirling, the gardens around the library extension at Jesus College, Cambridge and the Truro Crown Courts with Evans and Shalev. She also won a competition for the redesign the historic Foundation Court for the Middle Temple, a teaching roof garden on the top of the James Cass School in the City of London, and a consultancy for the Henry Moore Foundation at Much Hadham with Dixon Jones, also friends from the AA. One of her more exotic projects was a very large internal atrium landscape for the Mayor of Moscow for a new Cultural Centre.

Janet Jack was orphaned at 16 when her parents were killed in a road accident, and she had to cope independently with seeing herself through her final school years, and her five years of study at the AA. She often referred as the AA giving her wonderful support at this time and she regarded her friends there as extended family, some of whom have been life-long friends. She returned to the AA later to study historic garden conservation.

Janet became a very well-known and highly regarded national and international Landscape Architect. She was a quiet, but strong person, and highly creative in everything she did.  She died of cancer, having fought the disease for over four years. Her legacy is many beautiful landscape projects which will bring joy to countless people.  

Obituary provided by William Jack.

Image: Janet as a student at the AA, courtesty of William Jack.


Dame Zaha Hadid CBE AADipl 1950-2016

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Zaha: No architect in the world had the affect you did on AA students, graduates, colleagues or other architects. Here, there or anywhere. You always knew this was your greatest talent amongst so many others: the ability to change other architectural minds in a time when that grows increasingly improbable.

Amazingly, for a person filled with unswerving opinion, this was also one of the very few things you never commented upon, uttered a word about, or hinted an explanation for.

You lit rooms, presentations and conversations a thousand different ways, as if one of your paintings. You wrote lightning-speed late-night text messages as if miniature, instantaneous 21st century manifestos.

Everyone everywhere today is remembering you this first day of April this first day after you by sharing pictures posting stories uploading links adding comments trading memories reminding each other of you with versions of your buildings and your drawings and your paintings and your words. Which no one else could have imagined, let alone could have made. Like you did, with such ease. Thank you.

You always knew your architecture was planetary from the start. Thanks for having the patience to let architecture catch up. It will hurt not having you in the future you always cared so much about. We all will love you the way you loved architecture -- in that future. Your future. Forever, Brett

Brett Steele
Director, AA School

(Image: Zaha Hadid 2002 @ the AA
Image credit: Valerie Bennett)


Sir Andrew Derbyshire AADipl(Hons) 1923- 2016

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The AA is saddened to report that former chairman and president of RMJM and AA alumnus, Sir Andrew Derbyshire, has died aged 92.

Derbyshire was born in Sheffield in 1923 and originally studied natural sciences at Queen’s Cambridge, graduating during the Second World War. After serving with the Admiralty Scientific Service as an experimental officer (1944-46), he retrained as an architect and completed his studies at the Architectural Association in 1952. His joint final year thesis, now in the AA Archives, remains one of the most outstanding pieces of work of his time and has been widely published.

Derbyshire, who was knighted for services to architecture in 1986, was responsible for a string of high profile buildings including Sheffield’s Castle Hill Market, when he was deputy city architect, and York University and Hillingdon Civic Centre, for RMJM.  A major figure within the RIBA for many years, Derbyshire served on the RIBA Council and contributed to the institute’s office survey which led to the RIBA Plan of Work. He was elected senior vice president in 1981.

Tributes have been posted by publications including Building Design and Architects Journal.  His son Ben, managing partner of HTA Design, is due to give an address on his father’s life at this week’s RIBA Council meeting.

Image:  Heslington West Campus – York University by RMJM.  Photographer  R.Garrett. Courtesy of AA Photo Library.


Patrick Hodgkinson 1930-2016

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The AA is saddened to learn that influential architect and AA alumnus, Patrick Hodgkinson, has died aged 85. 

Hodgkinson, a Life Member of the AA and former Councillor, studied at the AA from 1950 to 1956 and later taught as a Visiting Lecturer. He was considered by such distinguished architects and historians as Neave Brown and Ken Frampton as the most talented student of his generation. The obituary below was written by Brendan Woods for the RIBA Journal. 

"Emeritus Professor Patrick  Hodgkinson AADipl (1930-2016) was in the 1960’s one of England’s most successful and influential architects running a practice from his large house in Bayswater and driving a dark blue Drophead Aston Martin.

At that time he was the architect for the redevelopment of the Foundling Estate - which was to become the Brunswick Centre - having acquired the commission when he was working with Leslie Martin in Cambridge and during which time he designed Harvey Court, transforming an initial scheme by Martin and Collin St. John Wilson into the canonical brick stepped section. This building exercised a considerable influence on a whole generation of architects and students and was described by a young Cedric Price in Granta as a “C14 building with 13 amp plugs”, much to Patrick’s enjoyment.

He had also had considerable influence on the design of the Oxford Law Libraries. Martin had heard of this talented student possibly via Aalto in whose office Hodgkinson had worked in 1956 before graduating from the Architectural Association but more likely via Wilson scouting for talented young architects. In Harvey Court he demonstrates his ability to fuse rationalist principles with Aalto’s profound humanism. Originally asked to become involved in a housing project for the London Borough of St. Pancras he became a central figure in the Martin Studio. When that project failed to proceed he continued to flourish under Martin’s benign aegis but regrettably developing a lifelong rivalry with Wilson.

Hodgkinson was one of an extraordinary group of students at the AA comprising Kenneth Frampton, John Miller, David Gray, Adrian Gale and Neave Brown who has said that he was ‘the most prescient of his AA cohort, for Frampton ‘the most talented’ and for Miller ‘he stood out as a star’. His 1953 Brixton Housing Project developed ideas in contradistinction to the then current LCC fashion for mixed development - inspired by Le Corbusier’s Ville Radieuse and Unite’ in Marseilles - wherein he explored the ideas of low rise high density, in an attempt to renew the city in a more English way building on the precedent of the Georgian terrace, enriched with a sectional complexity and providing a direct relationship to the ground and thereby the street. These were ideas subsequently developed by Martin and colleagues in the Land Use Built Form Centre in Cambridge.

His relationship with the Brunswick Centre came to an end when McAlpines, who had bought the site from the original developer, imposed an unrealistic programme for the working drawings and he felt he had no alternative but to resign. There then followed a very difficult time when a major commission in Oxford - Wellington Square - foundered, tutoring at the AA with David Shalev (when David Chipperfield was one of his students) he failed to land the deanship of Cornell and his second marriage was in trouble. Salvation of a kind presented itself in securing a teaching post at the University of Bath where he established himself, carving out a role as a passionate and inspired teacher. His illustrated talks on Utzon, Aalto and Mount Athos are still vivid in my mind from the early 1990’s when I got to know him while teaching there. It was in this mode that his teaching career came to a close around 1995.

Still combative he saw off attempts by other architects to alter and/or extend the Brunswick until Allied London had the inspired idea to appoint him as architect for the refurbishment in the late 1990”s. Assisted by Levitt Bernstein under the guidance of his old assistant David Levitt, he masterminded a transformation of the then unloved and unpainted SS Brunswick into a more intimately scaled and lively shopping concourse with Waitrose at its northern end and the previously utilitarian southern entrance transformed with Carluccios and French Connection replacing the ramps for service vehicles. It meant that the long period in the wilderness, during which he never doubted the good sense and architectural and urbanistic value of ‘his bit of Bloomsbury’, was rewarded by Mike Ingall of Allied London’s faith in him.

I have lived in this building for over 20 years and grown to appreciate what an extraordinary achievement it is. Few architects can boast of anything comparable. As Alan Powers wrote some years ago about the portico to Brunswick Square, “Against the evening light, or on a winter’s evening, the tall thin columns standing out against the chiaroscuro background provide one of the few genuinely sublime architectural sights of London”. 

Tributes have been posted by publications including Building Design and Architects Journal

Image: 1994 Foundling Estate Brunswick Centre, London, by Patrick Hodgkinson. Source: Image by Derek Plummer, courtesy of AA Photo Library


John Baker FRIBA 1927 - 2015

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The AA is saddened to hear of the death of architect William John Baker FRIBA, known as John, who passed away in October 2015 at the age of 88.

John had a long and successful career working for 30+ years with James Cubitt and Partners (JC&P), establishing an office in Lagos in 1956, and becoming a partner in 1968.  He was a partner at JC&P London for the rest of his career. He had been a member of the AA since 1996.

He will be greatly missed by architects, friends and family alike.


John Burkett AADipl FRIBA FCIArb, 1926-2015

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We regret to inform that AA Alumnus and Life Member John Burkett AADipl FRIBA FCIArb, has passed away aged 89.

John graduated with an AA Diploma in 1953. He went on to become a RIBA fellow and, later on, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in 1971. In the 1970s he won the Financial Times industrial buildings award for a farm building in Devon. 


Desmond Henly AADipl RIBA TPDip 1922-2015

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The AA is sad to report that former AA student Desmond Henly has passed away.

Rupert Desmond Henly attended the Cheltenham School of Art and the North Gloucestershire Technical College part-time from 1939-1942. After being articled to Ranger & Rogers, Architects, he passed his Part I exams externally at the RIBA in May 1943. He joined Royal Engineers in 1942 and served through the duration of World War II.  After war service he joined the AA in 1946 for the 4th and 5th years, receiving the AA Diploma in 1948. Henly attended the School of Planning & Research for Regional Development in Gordon Square for a year in 1948-49.  In 1951 Henly went to the United States and worked in 1952-53 at the Sacramento Redevelopment Agency as a Planning Officer, a 1-year Town Planning Institute requirement. He then worked with Richard Neutra as a draughtsperson for two years and went on to work for Abe Geller in New York. Henly returned to the UK in 1955, when he then opened his own practice primarily designing domestic architecture. He retired to the south coast of England and later moved back to Cheltenham.

Mr Henly has been a strong supporter of the AA and its students, emphasizing the value of student work such as sketch books in the educational process. Mr Henly also kindly donated all his student work and material from the Planning School and more recently to the Photo Library, slides he took in the 1950s of the Eames House and other important projects.

A memorial was held on what what would have been his 93rd birthday, 25th November 2015 at the place of his birth, the Sudeley Castle Estate, Winchcombe. 


Berrell Jensen GradDipl(AA) 1933-2015

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Berrell Jensen died on the 25th of July 2015 at Mercy University Hospital, Cork, Ireland. Berrell was a South African-born metal sculptor, social worker and teacher. She graduated from the Architectural Association in 1984 with a GradDipl(AA) in Planning. 

Born in Potchefstroom in 1933, Berrell graduated from Natal University in Durban with a BSc in Social Science. She had a number of jobs including librarian, laboratory assistant in a paint factory and public relations officer for Lever Brothers. While her husband, Anton Jensen was completing his Masters, she began making metal mobiles for sale. Known for her practical aptitude, perhaps inspired from childhood days spent at her father’s garage and repair shop, she studied welding and was soon creating large sculptures and panels created out of copper, bronze, silver and enamels. She organized her first exhibition in 1960 in Durban, Natal.

In the next eight years Berrell had nineteen exhibitions, seven of these as a solo artist. Her work was spotted by architects and she completed fourteen large-scale public commissions including fountains. Her mural in copper and bronze for the Jan Smuts International Airport V.I.P. lounge measured eighteen by four metres.

Berrell’s inspirations included Henry Moore, Alexander Calder and Reg Butler. Of her creative technique she has written: “I have chosen to work directly in metal, perhaps as much for practical as for personal reasons. Oxy-acetylene welding (the welding torch is my basic tool) has great flexibility and with it I have made a great range of things from delicate jewellery to large outdoor sculpture. The result is durable and no further process such as costly casting is necessary. In any event, having acquired this technique I have proceeded to explore it as fully as possible. The metals bronze and copper have tremendous versatility as regards both form and surface treatment and their possibilities as sculptural materials are inexhaustible so I have used them predominantly. Lately I have found myself including the colder metal – brass. The technique and the metal act as a guide and give the character imposed by the limitations they have and I express my ideas and feelings within these limitations. My own integrity is at stake if I try to show results not related to the real characteristics of the metal and techniques I use.”

After the tragic death of her husband in a car accident in Greece in 1969, she lived in England, where she had six exhibitions and was interviewed for BBC and HTV television programs. In 1977, as part of an initiative to develop local industries, she was invited by Father McDyer to set up a craft centre in Glencolumbkille, Co. Donegal, Ireland. This was in effect the start of a new career. In Belfast she was appointed Assistant Director of the Open Centre, an adult education centre funded by charitable trusts.  In London, while also studying at the Architectural Association for a Diploma in Planning, she set up the Highgate Newtown Community Centre. She then became Hampstead Community Centre’s Centre Director, a post she held for nine years. 

Berrell returned to Ireland in 1993, where she bought a 300-year-old Protestant church in Rochfortbridge, Co. Westmeath. She renovated the building, designating a large area as a metal studio. She began welding again, completing several commissions including for the Midland Health Board in Tullamore and the Tanyard Resource Centre in Offaly. The Dublin Corporation commissioned six metal screens, each 1.75 metres wide by 5.82 metres high for the entrance stairwells of the Marrowbone Lane Flats. This work she completed just prior to her first hip-replacement in 1996, at age 63. 

She was a fervent environmentalist and in 2001 organised a County Westmeath environmental group objecting to a controversial planning application for a landfill site in the Killucan area. Her knowledge of local wild life, peat bog and wetlands helped prevent the dump proceeding.

Berrell settled in Co. Cork in 2003, where she put her boundless energy into gardening. She will be much missed for her humour, enthusiasm, determination, patience and loyalty. Berrell is survived by her daughter Sandra, a writer, her son Michael, an IT and communications consultant, and by her three grandchildren, Oliver, Hugh, and Lucia.


Dr. Ian MacBurnie BArch GradDipl(AA) PhD 1955-2015

The architect, urban planner and professor Dr Ian MacBurnie died last Sunday 13 September, aged 60 years old.

Dr MacBurnie, who originally graduated from the AA in 1988 with a GradDipl(AA) in Housing & Urbanism also completed his PhD at the school in 1999 with his thesis The Periphery and the American Dream.

An AA Member for more than 25 years, MacBurnie was an associate professor in the Department of Architectural Science at Ryerson University, Toronto where he was instrumental in founding the gradute programme there.

Canadian publication The Globe and Mail published this obituary on 18 September.



Derek Brampton

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Derek Brampton, who died suddenly at his home in Kent on 31st August, will be remembered widely as London's best architectural bookseller.

Soon after starting the Triangle Bookshop in Kennington, London, he and Alan Young were persuaded by Alvin Boyarsky, legendary chairman of the AA from 1971 to his death in 1990, to re-locate to the newly refurbished basement of 36 Bedford Square. The business flourished as part of Boyarsky's vision of an alternative and dynamic Architectural Association. To enter Triangle's doors and browse the books was an essential part of time spent at the AA, made more pleasurable by Derek's informed intelligence, wit and great sympathy for the seeker of knowledge and inspiration. Most of the great names in architecture of this period would linger to chat and exchange gossip with Derek.

The shop closed in 2008 upon Derek and Alan's retirement. However those who knew Derek will remember him more for his great love of the arts, his early training and work in the London theatre, and his deep passion for painting to which he devoted most of his spare time, both at the easel and in visiting museums and exhibitions, always open to adventure.

His warmth, knowledge and spirit will be very much missed. He is survived by his husband and business partner Alan Young whom he met in 1969 and married last year

Image: Derek Brampton (right) with Alan Young in the Triangle Bookshop 2008. Photo by Valerie Bennett.





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The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Certificate), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.