Amarjit Kalsi AADipl(Hons) RIBA ARB FRSA 1957-2014

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The following obituary was written by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners and has been forwarded onto the AA Community by the family of Amarjit Kalsi:

"Architect and longstanding director at Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners (RSHP) who played an influential role in Lloyd’s of London, the Millennium Dome and Heathrow Terminal 5.

Amarjit Kalsi, known as Amo to friends and colleagues, was an architect who enjoyed a distinguished 33-year career working with Richard Rogers. A rare talent, he became a director at Richard Rogers Partnership (RRP) in 1988 at the young age of 30, stepping down in 2011 to become a Senior Consultant.

Born in May 1957 in Nairobi, Kenya, Amo’s family moved to Britain when he was still a young boy, settling first in Forest Gate, East London and then later moving West across the capital. Amo attended the local State school in Plaistow where he demonstrated great passion and skill for technical drawing, a talent that singled him out amongst his peers and led to his enrolment at The Architectural Association (AA) in 1975. Having completed his Part 1 studies a year early, Amo’s exquisite drawing style caught the eye during a work placement at RRP under the guidance of Frank Peacock and John Young in the late 1970s, and having returned to his studies at The AA, he qualified with an AA Diploma (with Honours) in 1981 and was offered a full-time role.

Over the course of more than three decades, Amo worked with Rogers and other key members of the practice on some of its most prestigious projects including the now Grade I listed Lloyd’s of London building in The City, the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, the European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg and the Stirling Prize-winning Barajas Airport in Madrid. At RRP, which became Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners in 2007, Amo inspired awe and respect in generations of young architects, including current Partners Graham Stirk and Ivan Harbour, proving to be an inspirational mentor who led by example and stirred the imagination of others. His guidance and creative mind will be forever evident at Heathrow Terminal 5 where his encouragement was not just restricted to his own practice but extended to every architect and engineer participating in the project.

He struck up a particularly successful partnership with desk-mate Ivan Harbour that would last some 27 years, together developing a lyrical architectural shorthand that has left its mark on cities across the Europe from London to Monte Carlo and Strasbourg to Bordeaux. Other notable projects included a series of bus shelters and street furniture for Adshel and Cemusa, and a design for a lighting system for the Italian company Reggiani. His most recent work included taking charge of two new subway stations in Naples, Italy: Capodichino at Naples Airport and Santa Maria Del Pianto, both designed as major transport hubs.

Aloof and confident, Amo possessed all the qualities of a great architect including the all important ‘magic touch’. His draughtsmanship was extraordinary, elevating technical drawing to an artform despite an unconventional habit of using only one thickness of ‘Rotring’ pen, which he argued lent clarity and simplicity to the representation. The result was always a thing of beauty that evoked feeling and imbued meaning as much as it informed. A man of few but always poignant words, Amo had the ability to express the spirit of a building in a single sketch or drawing and even his signature, calligraphic and showman-like, encapsulated this coolness and command of architectural language and detail. His persistence with pen and parallel motion despite the rise and rise of computer-aided design has ensured a unique legacy of drawings as artworks that stand as testament to his enigmatic intellect and personality.

A romantic idealist at heart, Amo ‘the constant’ was never phased by the inevitable ups and downs of large scale architectural projects and his singular spirit, marked by an infectious enthusiasm for his work, permeated the studio. Unflappable, he always had a wry observation or commentary on the process, and was uniquely capable of offering both constructive critique and ingenious solutions to problems met along the way. As this reputation grew, Amo’s career saw him appointed as a judge for the 1998 RIBA Awards as jury chairman for the North and Yorkshire regions, and from the late 1990s onwards he appeared as a guest speaker at various events including the RIBA Architecture and Built Environment Lecture in Sheffield in 2008, the Corus Lecture in Liverpool in 2008 and annually at Pennsylvania University in the US.

Affable and fond of fine dining, Amo ‘the food snob’ was the one to ensure everyone enjoyed the very best Choucroute and Confit de Canard on work trips abroad. Back at base in London, the same foodie tendencies led him to determine where the practice ate out; be it the Haweli, the Lahori Karahi or elsewhere, there was only ever one restaurant of the moment good enough to be patronised by Amo and his dutiful followers.

Outside of his work, he was a keen supporter of the Indian Gymkhana cricket and football club in Osterley, West London, and always talked fondly and enthusiastically about his family. He is survived by his wife, Gurjeet, who he married in 1982, and by their four daughters.

Amarjit Kalsi, architect, was born on 30 May 1957. He died on 26 August 2014, aged 57."

Image: Amarjit Kalsi at work in the RSHP office.


Sir Philip Dowson CBE PRA RIBA 1924-2014

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The relatives of Sir Philip Dowson, a former student of the AA and Member since 1949, have contacted the Architectural Association with the following obituary, which they wished be forwarded onto the AA community:

"It is with deep regret that the family announce the death of Sir Philip Dowson CBE PRA RIBA in the early hours of August 22, 2014.

Sir Philip Dowson was one of Britain’s most important architects. Educated at Gresham's School, Norfolk, he spent a year reading mathematics at University College, Oxford, before joining the Royal Navy during the Second World War and serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres. He returned to study Art History at Clare College, Cambridge, from 1947 to 1950, and then trained at the Architectural Association.

He joined the engineering firm Ove Arup and Partners in 1953 as an architect and in 1963, with Ove Arup, Ronald Hobbs and Derek Sugden, became a founding partner and later chief architect of Arup Associates. Composed of an innovative and collaborative team of influential architects, engineers and quantity surveyors, Arup Associates' approach to design was rational, scientific, and based on a belief that the function of a building, the nature of the materials used and the necessary methods of construction should form the basis of design.

Among numerous awards and honours, Sir Philip Dowson was made a CBE in 1969, and received a Knighthood in 1980. He was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 1979 and two years later was awarded the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture. He was President of the Royal Academy of Arts from 1993 to 1999.

He is survived by his wife, Lady Sarah Dowson MBE, his son, two daughters, and six grandchildren. The funeral is to be private, and a memorial service will be announced at a future date."

Former AA President Sir Michael Hopkins has also written this obituary, Remembering Sir Philip Dowson PRA, for the Royal Academy

Sir Philip's achievements are also featured in the following articles:

Forbes Mellon Library, Clare College, Cambridge

RIBA Gold Medal

Telegraph feature on 50 Years of Arup Associates

Sir Philip Dowson on Radio 4's Last Word (available til September 2015)



Sir Richard MacCormac CBE MA(Cantab) PPRIBA RA 1938-2014

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The architect Sir Richard MacCormac, has died aged 75 following a long illness on 28 July 2014. Working for over 50 years & founder of MJP Architects, he was described by the practise's current managing director Jeremy Estop as 'an architect's architect' - he also served as President of RIBA 1991-93, chair of the Royal Academy RA’s Architecture Committee and the RA Forum, and was a Member of the AA from 1996 to 2007.

Before forming MJP in 1972, MacCormac had attended Westminster School, Trinity College, Cambridge and The Bartlett where he would go on to teach. He also designed social housing for the influential practise Lyons, Israel, Ellis, and Gray in the 1960s.

Architecturally he will be remembered for his numerous & memorable collegiate buildings at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, the Phoenix regeneration in Coventry, Southwark Tube Station, the Dana Centre at the Science Museum and for a prolonged controversy with the BBC over his designs for the renovation of Broadcasting House that ended acrimoniously in 2005.

MacCormac was famous for his great character and spoke often at the AA as a Visiting Lecturer, most recently in 2003 with painter Antoni Malinowski and composer Michael Nyman. Knighted in 2001, he was the long time partner of the late writer Jocasta Innes and is survived by a son from his first marriage.


Andrew Mahaddie MArch AADipl ARIBA 1939-2014

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The Membership Office has learnt that Architect and Urban Designer Andrew Mahaddie (AADipl 1963) passed away 8 April 2014. Andrew was a Member of the AA throughout his career and became a Life Member in 2012. His wife Clare Mahaddie has kindly sent us this obituary of her late husband:


Andrew Mahaddie (latterly known as Bo) died unexpectedly after a short illness on 8th April 2014.

I met Bo in the first year studio at the AA in 1958 as did many of the friends who were at his memorial event in Campbell Park, Milton Keynes last May.

Although he could and did design buildings, Bo’s outstanding skills lay in design at larger (and smaller) scales and his ability to produce inspirational images and explain complex ideas in graphic form

The AA course encouraged his interest in planning and landscape design and after graduating in 1963 he studied Urban Design at Washington University, St Louis, worked for EDAW in LA and spent a year with SOM’s Urban Design Concept team in Washington DC.

Back in the UK, he was recruited to Milton Keynes Development Corporation in 1970. His joyful and exciting images of the future city did much to promote the project. He also created several major landscape features including the Belvedere, a dramatic landmark in Campbell Park made from road construction spoil.

Later he taught at the Bartlett and at the South Bank Poly. He also spent time teaching at UCL and USC in Los Angeles, which he much enjoyed.

Subsequently at Conran Roche and then in his 18 years at YRM, he developed the masterplans for many small new towns, hospitals and university campuses in the UK and abroad, most recently in India, his favourite location.  

Clare Mahaddie

August 2014


Brian Henderson DA(Edin) FRIBA FCSD 1928-2014

Former Past President and close friend of the AA Brian Henderson, who was instrumental in securing scholarships and bursaries for AA students, passed away last Thursday 19th June aged 85. Brian graduated from Edinburgh University and obtained a year-long placement with Basil Spence & Partners in 1950, working on designs for the Festival of Britain. He subsequently joined the firm of Yorke, Rosenberg & Mardall (YRM) in London, rising to senior partner and eventually chairman of the firm. Within YRM, Brian was in charge of the original buildings for Manchester and Gatwick airports, and smaller projects like the refurbishment of the Michelin Building for Paul Hamlyn and Terence Conran. His most challenging project came in the 1980s, with the design for the Sizewell B nuclear power station in Suffolk, the subject of the largest public inquiry ever seen in the UK. This coincided with the period he served on the AA Council, from 1983, and he was elected AA President in 1987, the same year that construction began at Sizewell B.

Under his Presidency, the AA Council introduced a concept Brian had seen at American universities – the AA Foundation was set up as a separate charity from the AA, with responsibility for safeguarding donations received towards AA scholarships and bursaries. A fundraising campaign for this purpose was carried out in 1988-89. Brian twisted a few arms, persuading people he knew well to become Trustees of the Foundation – his lifelong friend and partner at YRM, David Allford, Lord Alistair McAlpine, Harry Cobb and Alan Leibowitz amongst them – and he attracted many others as donors to the Foundation. After retiring from the AA Council in 1991, Brian continued to support the AA Foundation as a Trustee, and became Chairman of the Trustees from 1999 to 2010, when many of the existing named AA scholarship and bursary funds were established.

A lover of jazz, food and fine wines, Brian certainly knew how to enjoy life to the full, and will be remembered by many partying into the early hours at the Groucho Club after a late night at Ronnie Scotts. A favourite hangover cure of his is still mixed by Soho bartenders as a Dr Henderson. Business, and much else in Brian’s life, took place over lunches that invariably lasted into the late afternoon. His generosity and humour made these legendary – in fact, one of the more contested lots at a charity auction at the Groucho Club, featuring contributions by the likes of Tracy Emin and Sarah Lucas, was ‘Lunch with Brian Henderson’. But in contrast to his social life, Brian himself was more than anywhere at home in Wiltshire, with Elizabeth and the family, or in the most remote of locations in the Outer Hebrides, where he spent long summers with family and close friends.

Eternally positive, Brian claimed he was only challenged during the Sizewell B inquiry by his then 13-year old son Fergus, who threatened to get his schoolmates to picket the YRM offices. This is of course the same Fergus Henderson who later studied at the AA, and on his last day of studies announced his decision to become a chef. Brian’s response was “that’s fine son, but ensure you become the best” – and he did. Brian was rightly proud of Fergus’s achievements and rise to international fame, as well as those of his daughter Annabel who has followed his footsteps as an architect. In recognition of his lifelong contribution to the AA, Brian Henderson was made an Honorary Member of the AA in 2009.


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. 





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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 Diploma), 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.