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George Unwin 1922-2013

AA Life Member George Unwin died on 17 January in Papworth Hospital, Cambridgeshire, at the age of 91. After serving in the Navy during World War 2, he completed his architectural studies at AA, where he graduated in 1950. He worked in Coventry for WS Hattrell, being made a partner in the firm in 1961, and set up their Manchester office where he worked until his retirement. He leaves a legacy of many fine, well made public buildings.


 

John Winter MBE 1930-2012

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It is with great sadness that the AA reports the death of the distinguished architect John Winter, who passed away on 12 November 2012. A constant friend of the AA, John studied at the school from 1950–53, having earlier completed a pupillage under an Arts and Crafts architect in Norwich.

After a stint of National Service with the Royal Engineers, John attended Yale, where he came under the influence of Louis Kahn. Subsequently he moved to San Francisco, where he worked for both SOM and Charles Eames. On his return to the UK, John joined the office of Erno Goldfinger before setting up his own private practice. During these early years, he not only designed and self-built his own house on Regal Lane, overlooking London Zoo, but undertook a number of important private commissions, including a steel framed house in Wentworth (1964) and cottages and farmhouses in Derbyshire and Yorkshire.

Alongside his practice, Winter taught at the AA, from 1960–64 (his students included Jeremy Dixon, Ed Jones and Nicholas Grimshaw) and acted as the AA’s ‘house’ architect, responsible for many alterations and extensions, including what was initially intended as a ‘temporary’ back extension to the AA bar and terrace. Whilst small, highly thoughtful and individual modernist houses were to become Winter’s chief oeuvre – his 1990 Weekend House, Happisburgh, a superlative example – he also undertook a number of larger-scale housing estate projects in Milton Keynes in the 1970s.

However, perhaps the most celebrated and mourned of Winter’s houses is Hardy House, Swains Lane (1981, demolished 2008), which was situated with stunning views across London and the adjacent Highgate Cemetery and was supported on a central concrete pillar, with the first floor trussed up as a cantilever.

John himself will be sorely missed by the architectural community and at the AA where he not only inspired a generation of students but also made valuable contributions as a member of Council, as Honorary Secretary and as a Trustee of the AA Foundation.

Image: Portrait of John Winter by Johnathan Root©


 

Mookey Rathouse 1939-2012

The family of Samuel (Mookey) Rathouse (AAPlanDipl 1970), who died unexpectedly last September following a stroke, has sent a wonderful recount of the life of the urban designer, architect and founder of Moross Rathouse Partnership. The article tracks Mookey’s career, starting with his arrival from South Africa in the swinging London of 1966, with wife Rosalind, to study Urban Design under Leslie Ginsburg at the AA. It describes  Mookey’s awakening to urban design ideas of the time, about which he would argue with a cohesive group of fellow AA students into the early hours of the morning, in their Bloomsbury Square studio. The work of the practice, all centred in London’s West End, goes from early work on Carnaby Street in the 1960’s (to which the practice would return in the 1990’s) to strategic planning for the recently completed St Martin’s Courtyard in Covent Garden. You can read the full article by clicking the link below:

Read More (pdf)


 

Gerhard Kallmann 1915-2013

We belatedly report the death of American architect & AA Life Member Gerhard Michael Kallmann, who died last year. Born in Berlin in 1915, Kallmann came to London with his family in 1937 where he enrolled at the AA, graduating with an AA Diploma in 1941. Moving to the United States in 1948 he went on to teach at Chicago Institute of Design and was appointed Associate Professor of Architecture at Columbia University. He formed Kallmann, McKinnell & Knowles in 1962, after winning an international competition to design a new City Hall for Boston, with Columbia graduate student Michael McKinnell. Their Brutalist building became the firm's most iconic commission that unfortunately, like so many buildings of that era, was dismissed by the public it was created to serve. Other prominent projects included the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons HQ in The Hague, the US embassy in Bangkok and campuses for The University of California and Ohio State University.


 

Robert Elwall 1953–2012

Robert Elwall, assistant director of the RIBA’s British Architectural Library and the founder and curator of the RIBA Library Photographs Collection and RIBApix has died.

Read more at:
http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/daily-news/obituary-robert-elwall-1953-2012/8627535.article


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THE AA RECEIVES THE POWER TO AWARD ITS OWN DEGREES

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.

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