Giampietro Parboni Arquati SIA OTIA REGA 1955-2014

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Giampietro Parboni Arquati died in Davos, Switzerland, on 3 January 2014 of a brain tumour. Giampietro joined the AA in 1977, having completed a first year at Rome University, which at the time was troubled by student unrest. He joined Mike Davies and Alan Stanton’s Unit, who had just returned to London following work on the Centre Georges Pompidou. Giampietro had learned English during the preceding summer in Cambridge, where he met his wife Silvia. The unit system was a true culture shock but one which he took on with typical commitment and dedication, joining Zaha Hadid’s Unit in his final year and graduating in 1982.

After a brief spell working for Greenhill Jenner Architects in London, he chose to make his own way in Switzerland. He married Silvia and headed for Locarno to join the studio of Livio Vacchini. Very happy and professionally fulfilling times followed, as he set up his own practice in Locarno in 1985, subsequently moving to Lugano in 1990, where he completed numerous projects including private houses, apartment buildings and competition entries. From 2002 to 2008 he was responsible for projects in Astana, Kazakstan, including a hospital and the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2009 he worked on a large project near Caracas, a riverfront mixed-use complex for a hotel and apartment buildings.

Giampietro’s illness was first diagnosed in January 2010 and he made an almost full recovery returning to work a year later. In 2012 he sought a quieter life and with Silvia decided to move to the ski resort of Davos. They had settled for less than a month when Giampietro was commissioned what was to be his last project, the refurbishment of an important local hotel. Although he was still convalescing he took on the challenge with great enthusiasm and ensured that the complex renovation was completed on time. Unfortunately the tumour returned in 2013 and he spent many months in and out in hospital. He passed away shortly after the New Year.

All that knew him will remember and miss his fine humour, his smile, his welcoming and outgoing character always interested in hearing one’s news. He addressed his illness with great optimism, never ceasing to enjoy and embrace life. Shortly before he died he said: I would do it all again exactly in the same way!

Obituary written by Luigi Beltrandi AA Alumnus & Partner at CZWG Architects
Giampietro Parboni Arquati's CV can be viewed here


David Frederick Gray AADipl ARIBA 1930-2014

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Written by Peter Salter, former AA Unit Master & AA Dipl(Hons) 1980

"David’s relationship with the AA spanned more than 45 years. That period saw David pass from the white shirted environment of the Barrel Vault drawing office, as a student between 1950–1955, to become a member of the so-called ‘Gang of Four ‘ who deputized as Chairman during the interregnum year following Alvin Boyarsky’s death in 1990. David undertook virtually every role in the AA. Within the School he will be particularly remembered as a Unit Master in both Intermediate and Diploma Schools.

David came to the AA after completing his National Service. Post–War Britain was a heady place for students and young assistants. Neave Brown, his contemporary and closest friend, writes of those destined to be architectural assistants and architects “coming from the schools committed to the idea that British architecture, generally sad and provincial, needed a dose of vigour and a theoretical basis for work.” The idea of strong strategies for design that formulated detail, which Neave describes as “diagrammatic clarity, formal poise and active and economical architecture” stayed with David throughout his career as practitioner and teacher. What he taught was what he believed in and what underpinned his architecture. His student cohort included Kenneth Frampton, Neave Brown, Patrick Hodgkinson and Adrian Gale. Some fellow students were to meet again in the practice of Lyons Israel and Ellis (later Gray). Regarded for its “conviction and positive presence …the office was renowned as a training ground for James Stirling, James Gowan, Alan Colquhoun, John Miller, David Gray, Christopher Dean and Richard McCormack”, many of whom were to go on to become major theorists and teachers as well as architects, setting up a reciprocity of ideas between practice and education.

David started work at Lyons Israel and Ellis in 1957, became a partner in 1970, and continued until the practice closed in 1984. Perhaps his most admired work, and indeed the one he was most proud of, was the National Sea Training School in Gravesend Kent. As a project, it carries some of the familiar ideas of the practice: the frame, the repetition of components, the expression of functional elements, and the clarity of circulation.

With the appointment of Alvin Boyarsky in 1972 and the development of the unit system, David started to teach with David Shalev. The “two Davids “, as they were known, taught what they practiced: forms of modernism. Subsequently, David went on to teach with Neave Brown, an influential local authority housing architect for Camden. In 1982 David started to teach with Kisa Kawakami, also from Camden Architecture Department. Their prospectus for the year’s work was always site specific, detailed and precise, relating mainly to shoreline sites and often post industrial in character. Grounded in maps and beautiful card site models, the student work was recorded by David in exquisite and tiny pencil strategies, drawn for his records in a surveyor’s notebook. Looking back at the End of Year Project Review for 1987-88, it seems that the students in his unit were largely divided between those that went on to teach and those that became his friends, though the roles were not mutually exclusive.

It was at the End of Year Diploma Committee tables that I first met him. In a scene sometimes tantamount to gladiatorial combat, David was always completely fair, generous and mild mannered, looking for a body of work to support. Alvin Boyarsky recognized David’s measured response to the student portfolio and appointed him tutor in charge of External Students, as successor to Ron Herron and David Greene. The students in his care were for one reason or another in need of more time to complete their work. David was careful that such students had the opportunity to develop their talent and ideas.

In recognition of his continued support for the school over so many years, as student and much valued teacher, David was awarded an Honorary Membership of the AA on 5th March 2013, coming out of hospital to receive the award."


Alistair McAlpine, Baron McAlpine of West Green 1942-2014

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Lord Alistair McAlpine, who served as Chairman of the AA Foundation Trustees from 1989 to 1994 died on 17 January 2014 aged 71. For a glimpse of the colourful life of this truly eccentric English gentleman a fitting obituary has been written here: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jan/19/lord-mcalpine-of-west-green


Kathryn Findlay AADipl HonFRIAS 1953-2014

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The AA was saddened to learn of the death of the much loved and admired Scottish architect Kathryn Findlay who passed away last Friday, 10 January.

Having studied at the AA from 1972 to 1979, graduating with a AA Diploma, Findlay formed the architectural practice Ushida Findlay in Tokyo in 1986 with her then husband Eisaku Ushida. There they found recognition with a series of idiosyncratic and inventive buildings such as the Truss Wall House (1993) and Soft and Hairy House (1994).

The practice relocated to the UK in 1999, with Findlay as Principal Director, working on notable projects such as the RIBA Nominated Grafton New Hall (2002) and Pool House 2 (2009).

Her most famous project came in 2012 when she worked as delivery architect for Anish Kapoor's monumental ArcelorMittal Orbit for the London Olympics. She was also made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) on the 11 September 2013.

Tragically it was announced just hours before her death last week that Kathryn had been awarded the 2014 Jane Drew Prize ‘for her outstanding contribution to the status of women in architecture’. Please click here for further details from the AJ website.


Colin Anthony Pain AADipl ARIBA 1928-2013

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An obituary written by the sons of Colin Anthony Kirby Pain in memory of their late father, a Hampton Wick resident for nearly 60 years, who died suddenly and sadly on 24th January 2013 aged 84.

"Colin was born in Royal Tunbridge Wells in 1928 and was one of 2 sons of the local Lloyds Bank Manager. A respected architect, he trained at the Architectural  Association in London, where his studies were postponed while serving in the Royal Medical Corps.  His first job was with the private practice of Moiret + Wood and then Robin Boger after which he entered public service and moved to the Housing Division of the London County Council. Later he worked under the inspirational Donald Gibson at Army Works in Chessington, a section of the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works followed by a spell with Air Force Works. The Ministry of Works became part of the Department of the Environment’s  Property Services Agency where Colin rose to be the Director of New Works for London Region with a team of 500 staff. He was given the responsibility of caring for the Government's  14,000 buildings, including the Palaces of Kew, St James, Kensington, Hampton Court, Windsor and Buckingham  Palace, all the museums, all the government  offices, unemployment  benefit offices, married quarters and administering all the external arrangements for Royal and foreign dignitary visits and celebrations (Jubilee etc.). Amongst an enormous  workload he oversaw the Clore extension  to the Tate Gallery and then later was instrumental in delivering the beautiful Sainsbury Wing extension to the National Gallery after Prince Charles’ famous quote relating to a previous proposal “a carbuncle on the face of a much loved friend.” He was responsible  for the  refurbishment  of the  Cabinet  War  rooms  and  was swiftly  at Hampton  Court  Palace  to oversee the securing, fire-­‐fighting and restoration works required by the fire on Easter Monday in 1986 where he  escorted  the  Queen  and  members  of  the  Royal  Family  around  the  still  smouldering  remains.  He  retired  in 1988 and was replaced by two people on the same salary! 

He will also be remembered  for his dedication to Hampton Wick. He was a founder member of the Hampton Wick Association in 1962 established originally to oppose a flyover extension to the Kingston one way system which  would  have  destroyed  half  the  village  and  chaired  the Association  for  many  years.  In  1977  he  and  his wife  Mu  recreated  the  Victorian  festival Chestnut Sunday which takes part on the Sunday closest to May 11th each year (co-­incidentally also Colin’s birthday) and he has attended every year since -­ wearing his Victorian top hat. He is a member of the friends of Home and Bushy Parks and helped man the information desk in the Pheasantry  Welcome  Centre.  He was also a local historian  and often gave talks on the History  of Hampton Wick  and  was  a  strong  supporter  of  the  recently  formed  Hampton  Wick  History  Group.  In  2007  he  was awarded a Community Award by Richmond Council for Voluntary Service for outstanding services to volunteering in Richmond Borough.

Amongst all this he had various hobbies. He was an amateur cinematographer (favouring his beloved standard 8) and cartoonist. He won many awards for his films at the Whitehall Cine club, SERIAC and the IACs top ten as well as internationally.  He was also fascinated with magic lanterns and often put on shows with magic lantern slides and was an active member of the Magic Lantern Society.

With his beloved wife Mu (who sadly died in 2000) he helped form the Thameswick Players Amateur Dramatic Group and used his architectural expertise to build incredible stage sets. He acted once but much preferred to be behind the scenes.

Above all of these activities he will be remembered as a loving family man. A great husband to Mu, a brother to Barrie and a wonderful father to Richard, Michael and David and Grandfather  to Jon, James, Ben , Emma, Hannah, Jessica and Ellie. "

Photo: Colin (left) with friend and fellow student Sandy Miller on the roof of the 7 Bedford Square (then owned by the AA), October 1948.


Edward Fawcett OBE 1920-2013

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David Jacques, former head of the AA Garden Conservation, remembers Edward (Ted) Fawcett, the founder of the course who died on 19 October 2013 aged 93.

"Edward Charles Richard Fawcett came to prominence in 1969 when he was appointed the National Trust’s first Director of Public Relations. He was responsible for expanding the membership greatly, and taking the measures (including the shops) for handling a huge increase in visitor numbers, especially to its gardens. Retiring in 1984 with an OBE, he pursued his great private interest in historic gardens, getting involved at Chiswick, Osterley and in the Garden History Society.

His wife Jane, who was teaching on the AA Building Conservation course at the time, suggested to Alvin Boyarsky, AA Chairman, that Ted might run a complementary course in historic garden conservation. Garden history and garden conservation were rapidly expanding topics, and the course, starting in 1986, was the world’s first of its sort. As with Building Conservation, the course was one day per week over 2 years. Ted’s extensive network in that world paid off in the huge variety of lecturers, and the course thrived.

By the late 1990s it was clear that the course needed accreditation, and it first became a Postgraduate Diploma and then an MA. Meanwhile Ted retired again, aged 80, handing over to David Jacques.

Ted stood for an important shift in the status of garden history and conservation from an amateur pastime to a professional discipline. Possessed of great charm and powers of persuasion, Ted inspired not only a generation at the National Trust but also on his course. Scores of his students currently occupy positions in English Heritage, the Lottery Fund, local authorities, consultancies and academia; others are authors of note.

He is survived by his wife Jane."

Image: Ted trying dowsing at Hampton Court.


Francis Golding MA HonFRIBA 1944-2013

The AA is shocked and saddened to learn of the death of former member Francis Golding last week following a collison whilst cycling in Holborn on Wednesday 6 November.

A respected planning consultant, Golding had advised on some of London's most famous buildings of the 21st Century including Jean Nouvel's One New Change, Rafael Vinoly's 20 Fenchurch Street and extensively with Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners on One Hyde Park, The Leadenhall Building and the soon to be completed World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre at The British Museum.

Golding had previously been Secretary of the Royal Fine Art Commission in the late 1990s, was an AA Member from 2002-2008 and was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the RIBA.




Nicholas Wyn Roberts AADipl 1948-2013

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The family of AA graduate and architect Nicholas Roberts wishes to inform the AA Community that he passed away on September 21st. Nick was the son of Cambridge architect David Wyn Roberts, a professor of architecture at Cambridge University, and Nick’s mother, Margaret MacDonald Baird, was also an architect. Nick graduated from Cambridge University, BA Architecture, 1969, and the Architectural Association’s School of Architecture in London in 1972. Several years after graduating, Nick moved permanently to Los Angeles, where he practiced architecture and met his future wife, architect Cory Buckner. 

Nick’s most significant contribution to architectural practice was as an Associate and Project Manager for Leo A. Daly in Los Angeles from 1985-2003, where he was responsible for managing a number of monumental, well-known Southern California projects such as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels by Rafael Moneo, the Los Angeles Convention Center  Expansion by Pei Cobb Freed, and the John Spoor Broome Library at CSU Channel Islands by Norman Foster. Nick’s ability to organize vastly complex projects, negotiate diplomatically, and inspire a team of collaborators brought these projects to spectacular realization. On a smaller scale, Nick collaborated with his wife Cory on the design of their mountaintop home in Malibu and renovations of houses and St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in Malibu, all designed by architect A. Quincy Jones.    

In 2003, Nick found his true calling as professor of architecture at Woodbury University, and served as Interim Chair of the Undergraduate Program the semester before he passed away. He founded Woodbury’s study abroad program in China, taking the time to learn Basic Chinese so he could communicate more effectively, and then started another such program in India, where his students researched how water conservation could inform architectural design. He was inducted into the Woodbury University Faculty Hall of Fame in August 2013.

He is the author of Places of Worship published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Nick is survived by his wife Cory Buckner and his daughter, Bryony Roberts.


Warren Chung 1975-2013

The AA Community is saddened to learn of the death of Warren Chung who studied at the School between 1995 and 2000.  Warren’s funeral will take place on Wednesday 24th July 2013 and his family extend this invitation to AA friends and colleagues to join them on this occasion.  In keeping with Warren’s unconventional nature, there is no dress code. Family flowers only please.

The funeral service will take place in St Nicolas' Church, Chipping Hill, Witham, Essex CM8 2JS at 12.45pm followed by cremation at the Three Counties Crematorium, Braintree.

Furthering his studies at the AA Warren went on to complete his architectural training at the Royal College of Art. After graduating he had a successful career working as a theme park designer, and later for Lego theme parks across the world. He had in recent last years set up his own practice. Warren was always a playful designer and he made a career out of his love of fun.

Warren was a very social and active member of the school community during his time at the AA and he will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

The AA extends its deepest sympathies to Warren’s family on this sad occasion. 


Christopher Shirley Knight AADipl 1925-2013

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The family of AA graduate and architect Christopher Knight wished to inform the AA Community that he passed away earlier this year on January 29th.

After graduating the AA in 1949 with a Diploma, Knight travelled to Chicago and worked for world renowned practise Skidmore Owings & Merrill. He returned to the UK to work with former AA President Dame Jane Drew on the Festival of Britain.

During the 1960's he formed the practise of Knight & Gardiner with fellow AA Graduate Stephen Gardiner, their most prominent building being a private residence for Sir John Baring in Stratton Park, Hampshire. The modernist house they built forms a striking juxtaposition on the site, situated adjacent to an 18th century Tuscan Portico leftover from the demolition of the original house, designed by George Dance.

Christopher contributed articles to many architectural magazines and held strong views on developments and issues in modern architecture. He has generously bequeathed many of his presentation drawings to the AA Archives. 


Mark Fisher OBE MVO RDI RIBA AADipl 1947-2013

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Tributes from around the world have been pouring in following the death of architect and world-renowned stage designer Mark Fisher on the 25 June. An AA Diploma Graduate from 1971 and Unit Master from 1973 to 1977, his practice StuFish released this statement:

We are sad to announce that the stage designer and architect Mark Fisher, OBE, MVO, RDI, died yesterday in London aged 66.

He passed away peacefully in his sleep at the Marie Curie Hospice in Hampstead with his wife Cristina at his side, after a long and difficult illness, which he suffered with stoicism and courage and his customary good humor.

Mark’s work as a set designer and artistic director has transformed the landscape of rock concerts and large scale events over the last 25 years.

Together with his practice Stufish, Mark created the groundbreaking designs for all the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and U2 tours for two decades as well as scores of other artists all over the world.

As well as his work in live music performance he also created designs for theatre productions and musical theatre including We Will Rock You, and Ka and Viva Elvis for Cirque du Soleil.

He was the senior designer for the Beijing Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies and was one of the three executive producers at the London 2012 Games ceremonies.

His work influenced not only the colleagues and crews with whom he worked but also surprised and delighted the many millions of people who experienced his designs all over the world.


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Robert James Mackay Sutherland FEng BA FICE FIStructE 1922-2013

Robert James Mackay Sutherland died last month on the 18 May. An outstanding Civil Engineer and prominent member of the Institution of Structural Engineers, James had been a partner with Alan Harris at Harris and Sutherland since 1964 and worked on projects such as the University of Bath and Essex, the Commonwealth Institute in Kensington, Warrington New Town Plan and the refurbishment of the Sir John Soane Museum.

A Member of the AA since 1958, he was granted Life Membership in 1999. A funeral service was held in Clevedon, Somerset on 4 June, and the annual Sutherland History Lecture organised by the Institution of Structural Engineers will continue as a tribute to his accomplishments and contributions to the field of engineering.


Paul Stephen Coates AADipl 1969

It is with great sadness that we announce that Paul Coates died in the early hours of Friday the 14th of June 2013.

His major contribution was to the early development of computer systems for architects and his early introduction of computing into Architectural Education first at Liverpool Polytechnic and later at University of East London.

He joined the AA in 1963 in a cohort that included Robin Evans, John Frazer, John Young, Marco Goldschmied, Michael Brown, Peter Colomb, Jane Lamb, Stuart Passey, Richard Bunt, Katherine Macdonald and Henry Hertzberg. Paul Coates immediately made an impact with his original ideas and unconventional approach. In his fourth year he discovered the architectural potential of the scientific discipline of cellular automata that is a technique underlying much generative design and can be seen developed in many recent projects at the AA.

As one of the founders of Autographics (with John and Julia Frazer) he created, wrote and marketed the world’s first micro drafting system several years before AutoCad. A series of highly innovative, friendly yet technically brilliant products were developed over nearly 20 years which won major awards and prizes for innovation and interface design including a British Design Award 1988 presented by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.

Paul went on to lead the Masters course at UEL in Architecture: Computing and Design and inspired generations of students many of who now have formidable reputations of their own. He further developed generative design techniques during this period and wrote a book explaining his methods.

He enjoys a global reputation for his significant contribution to the development of microcomputer based graphics and the use of computers in design education and his major contribution to the whole field of generative systems.


Clyde Charles Malby FRICS 1935-2013

We regret to announce the passing away of AA Life Member Clyde Charles Malby. A Chartered Quantity Surveyor who fostered links between the AA and the University of North Carolina, bringing in students from their nearby European campus at Winston House (3 Bedford Square) . Malby also worked with the recently deceased Rick Mather on the refurbishment of the AA bar, restaurant and toilets in 1980. An AA Member since 1969, Malby was awarded Life Membership in 2008.


Rick Mather BArch(Oregon) RIBA 1937-2013

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The AA is saddened to report that Rick Mather died Saturday 20 April after a short illness. Graduate of the AA urban design course (1966), Rick taught a first year unit with fellow American Dale Benedict 1974-77. He set up Rick Mather Architects in 1973, specialising on design and master planning for cultural and academic institutions.

In 1980 he was commissioned a phased restructuring of various AA spaces, including the existing bar, kitchen, exhibition gallery and toilets, and the former photo library, drawing materials shop, triangle bookshop and crèche. Amongst many celebrated projects, the refurbishment of Dulwich Picture Gallery, an extension to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich and a masterplan for the South Bank Centre, all from 1999, helped place his practice in the International architectural scene. Their work on the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford was nominated for the Stirling Prize in 2010.

He served as AA Councillor 1992-96 and remained an active AA Member.

Photo: Rick Mather opening the AA toilets





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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.