A celebration of the lives and contributions of the design and preservation leaders, patrons and advocates who died between August, 2011, and December, 2012.
William E. Blurock, an architect, 90, died June 12, 2012, from a ruptured colon. After graduating from the University of Southern California School of Architecture and serving in the military during World War II, Blurock founded The Blurock Partnership (now tBP/Architecture) that became known for its pioneering work in educational facility design. He designed school buildings worldwide, including buildings 32 college campuses in California.
Sarah “Sally” Szold Boasberg, a landscape designer and advocate, 74, died March 28, 2012, from ovarian cancer. She was a tireless advocate for the environment, including spearheading initiatives to protect Washington, DC’s tree canopy and the US National Arboretum. She was also the co-founder of The Cultural Landscape Foundation, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the public’s awareness of cultural landscapes and their significance to the country’s heritage.
Ray Bradbury died June 5, 2012 at the age of 91 after a stroke. Although the writer Bradbury is most well-known for his futuristic books such as The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451 (to name a few), it is a less-know architectural fact that Bradbury was also involved in many futuristic design projects such as New York’s 1964 World’s Fair and Spaceship Earth at Florida’s Walt Disney World.
Cornelia Brierly, an architect, 99, died November 2, 2012. She was one of the first five women to study architecture at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University), but uninspired by the curriculum, garnered an invitation from Frank Lloyd Wright to join his fellowship at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, AZ. She studied with Wright for 10 years, opened her own architectural practice in 1956, and later returned to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation as a teacher. At the time of her death, she was believed to have been the oldest surviving member of the Taliesin Fellowship.
Jacques Brownson, an architect, 88, died February 19, 2012, from a heart attack. Brownson’s most well-known design was Chicago’s Richard J. Daley Center and Plaza (originally called the Chicago Civic Center), which opened in 1965 and for which he was the chief architect. In 1991 the glass and steel building was named one of Chicago’s 10 most important post-World War II buildings by Chicago Tribune architecture critic Paul Gapp.
Alexander Caragonne, an architect and author, 77, died September 12, 2012. His seminal project was Plaza Guadalupe in San Antonio, TX, which won a design award from the Texas Society of Architects in 1985. He also wrote The Texas Rangers: Notes from an Architectural Underground, which documented the renaissance in architectural teaching that occurred at the University of Texas, Austin, in the 1950s; edited Colin Rowe’s three-volume As I Was Saying; and before his death completed Teaching Architecture, which will be published in 2013.
Jean Paul Carlhian, an architect, 92, died October 18, 2012, in his sleep. Born in Paris to a family who ran an interior design and decoration firm that worked for wealthy clients and handled projects such as the residences of ambassadors, he graduated from the Ecole des Beaux Arts, receiving the best thesis prize.He went on to Harvard as a Wheelwright Fellow and received his master’s in city planning, later joining the faculty there. He also was an architect for decades with the Boston firm Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson and Abbott. He considered his greatest achievements the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art and the Sackler Gallery of Asian Art, along with the Warren B. Rudman US Courthouse in Concord, NH.
Matt Casey, an architect, 35, died September 10, 2012, from injuries sustained during an assault. Casey worked for Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Anderson Mason Dale Architects, Page Southerland Page and Dick Clark Architecture before founding his firm, Casey Design Office, in Austin, TX. He specialized in high-end residential and commercial projects.
Martin Bolton Charles, a British architectural photographer, 71, died January 27, 2012, from myeloma. After a career as an editor for film and television, Charles became an architectural photographer in 1974. He was equally skilled working in color and black and white and with modern and historic subjects, and he quickly became one of the most sought after photographers by British architectural journals and publishers. In his work he was particularly drawn to Arts and Crafts architecture, participating in a number of book projects on the subject.
Joseph Kay “J Kay” Cleavinger, an architect, 85, died June 26, 2012. He graduated from Kansas State University in 1952 with a degree in architecture. He settled in Moberly, MO, and became an associate architect for Ludwig Abt. He and Abt later formed a partnership that became J. Kay Cleavinger Architect & Associates. Throughout his career, Cleavinger designed some of Moberly’s most notable buildings, including the Commerce Bank, Bank of America, post office, and the Moberly housing project.
John Drayton “Jay” Dalgliesh, an architect, 68, died July 5, 2012, from cancer. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a degree in architecture, Dalgliesh settled in Charlottesville, VA, and joined the firm Grigg, Wood and Browne in 1969. He spent his entire career with the firm, which eventually became Dalgliesh Gilpin Paxton Architects specializing in high-end residential architecture. He also designed a modular home for Haiti that can be set up in just over a day.
Günther Domenig, an Austrian architect, 77, died June 15, 2012. His first international acclaim came in 1979 with the Z-Bank in Vienna, which has been praised for its highly expressionist style achieved before the advent of parametric tools that aid architects in creating complex free-flowing three-dimensional forms. His most radical project, however, was his own house on Lake Ossiach, in Austria, which was the subject of a 1986 exhibition and publication produced by the Architectural Association. Begun in 1980, “Steinhaus” was where he continually experimented with his ideas until his death.
Robert D. Downe, an architect, 84, died April 5, 2012. He designed many notable public, educational, and religious buildings in St. Louis, including the Climatron at the Missouri Botanical Garden, Olin Library at Washington University, the Cathedral Basilica, and the St. Louis Government Center. Early in his career he joined Murphy & Mackey, moving up the ranks to president and managing partner; the firm was eventually renamed Murphy Downey Wofford & Richman.
Robert W. Duemling, a former president and executive director of the National Building Museum, 83, died July 13, 2012, following a long illness. After retiring from a long career at the State Department, Duemling became the director of the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, in 1987. Over the next six-and-a-half years, he transformed the fledgling institution, which opened in 1986, by doubling its operating budget, expanding its staff, launching groundbreaking exhibits, instituting numerous programs, and completing the renovation of the 1887 Pension Building as showcase for the museum.
Ulrich Joseph Franzen, an architect, 91, died October 6, 2012. After receiving his master’s degree in architecture from Harvard, he join I.M. Pei’s firm. He formed his own firm, Ulrich Franzen & Associates, in 1955. His first prominent solo project was the 1968 Alley Theater in Houston, which was critically praised, and equally criticized by the city’s residents, for its Brutalist style. His other notable projects include the Philip Morris headquarters in New York City and the East and West towers at Hunter College.
Eric Reid Fulford, a landscape architect, 61, died September 12, 2012, from cancer. A native of the Pacific Northwest, he moved to Indianapolis (where he lived for more than 30 years) after receiving the Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture in 1991. He co-founded NINebark, Inc., a creative design studio focused on designing culturallyrich and thoughtful public spaces.Its projects include the Indiana Veteran’s Cemetery in Madison, IN, and the Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial in White River State Park in Indianapolis.
Steven Gatschet, an architect, 71, died June 20, 2012, from complications related to pancreatic cancer. Earlier in his career he worked with Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates and GBQC Architectsand then became a design architect for the School District of Philadelphia. For the last 30 years Gatschet served as an adjunct professor of architecture at Drexel University.
Bruno Giacometti, a Swiss architect, 104, died March 21, 2012. Born into a family of notable artists and sculptors, Bruno Giacometti took a slightly different path by studying to become an architect; his approach to modernism focused more on functionality than shape. Some of his most critically acclaimed works include the Swiss Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the Town Hall of Uster, and the Natural History Museum of the Grisons in Chur.
Pedro Guerrero, a photographer, 95, died September 13, 2012, from cancer. After dropping out of art school, Guerrero showed up at Frank Lloyd Wright’s dusty Arizona driveway in 1939 and introduced himself as a photographer; for the next 20 years Wright trusted Guerrero as his exclusive photographer. Although Guerrero is mostly known for his images of Wright and the architect's work, he also photographed the lives and works of artists Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson.
Donald Hardison, an architect, 96, died September 17, 2012. After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley School of Architecture in 1938, he worked as a naval architect at the Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond, CA.After the war he started his own architectural practice, which later became Hardison & Komatsu Architects and continues today as HKIT Architects.The Oakland, CA, firm is known for designing schools, churches, and multifamily and senior housing in the San Francisco Bay Area.
John MacLane Johansen, an architect, 96, died October 26, 2012, from heart failure. He was the last surviving member of the Harvard Five and one of its most experimental. His Mummers Theater in Oklahoma City has been described as “more like an erector set than a conventional piece of architecture.” His experimentation with different forms, materials, and technologies continued into his retirement; in 2002 he published Nanoarchitecture: A New Species of Architecture, in which he explored futuristic architecture inspired by cutting-edge science.
Gerhard Kallmann, an architect, 97, died June 19, 2012, from complications from a stroke. He is most well known for his Brutalist design of the Boston City Hall, which began in 1962 and opened in 1969.He and his business partners, N. Michael McKinnell and EdwardKnowles,won the competition and founded the firm of Kallmann, McKinnell & Knowles (which became Kallmann McKinnell & Wood in 1965).
Christopher Shawn Kelley, an architect, 39, died May 26, 2012. He worked for Ruyle, Master, Hayes + Jennewein Architects in Tampa, FL, and then at the Washington, DC, office of Gensler. He served as chair of the Young Architects Forum since 2009; in 2010 he was awarded the Young Architect Award.
William Boulton “Bo” Kelly Jr., an architect, 84, died August 1, 2012, from complications from an infection. After graduating from Princeton University in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in architecture, Kelly worked as a city planner with the Baltimore Urban Housing Association and established the architectural firm of Tatar & Kelly.Among its projects, the firm oversaw the restoration of the Pimlico Race Course clubhouse and the Babe Ruth House, both in Baltimore. Kelly went on to become an important figure in Baltimore’s architecture community, founding Baltimore Heritage and helping set up the Baltimore’s Commission for Historical & Architectural Preservation. “He shaped the way we look at Baltimore and historic architecture,” said Johns Hopkins, the executive director of Baltimore Heritage.
William “Bill” Louis Larson, an architect, 88, died June 29, 2012, after a series of falls. Larson was co-founder of DLR Group (originally Dana Larson Roubal and Associates), an architectural and engineering firm in Omaha, in 1966. Previously he had been a vice president at Leo A Daly.
Ricardo Legoretta, a Mexican architect, 80, died December 30, 2011, from liver cancer. Born into one of Mexico’s wealthiest and most prominent families, Legoretta studied architecture at the National University of Mexico under Jose Villagran, one of the most prominent architects in the country. In contrast to his mentor’s style of European modernism, Legorretta infused his global designs with elements of Mexican vernacular architecture, including bold colors, thick protective walls, and spacious courtyards. In 1993 he brought his crisp, colorful aesthetic to downtown Los Angeles with his design for Pershing Square. Although the designs of his firm Legoretta and Legoretta, which he operated with his son, were prized throughout the world, they were especially sought after in the American Southwest; examples of commissions there are a library in downtown San Antonio and a visual arts center for the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico.
Ted Levy, an architect, 82, died September 22, 2012, from natural causes. Born in New York and reared in Atlanta, Levy graduated from Georgia Tech with undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture and structural engineering. Levy served in the Navy and was active in the Naval Reserves, achieving the rank of rear admiral.While he was an architect in Atlanta he designed Plaza Towers, one of the city’s first residential high-rises, which opened in 1969, and Park Place on Peachtree Street, which opened in the 1980s.
Charles Lockwood, an author, 63, died March 28, 2012, from cancer. Between his junior and senior years at Princeton University, Lockwood began research for his seminal book, Bricks and Brownstones: The New York Row House, 1783–1929. Architecture critic Paul Goldberger credited the publicationas giving a moral impetus to the appreciation and preservation of this building typeand for Lockwood’s photographical chronicling and detailing that placedbrownstones in their historical context.
John Madin, a British architect, 87, died January 11, 2012. He helped transform post-war Birmingham; although a number of his buildings, mostly in the Brutalist style, have been demolished. He began practicing architecture in 1949 and established John H D Madin & Partners (now John Madin Design Group International) in 1962.
Luis Morena Mansilla, a Spanish architect, 52, died suddenly on February 22, 2012, from a heart attack. He was in Barcelona to present a book about Enric Miralles, another architect who died prematurely in 2000 at the age of 45. Mansilla was a founding partner of Mansilla+Tuñón, whose works include the Fine Arts Museum in Castellón, the Auditorium of Leon, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Castilla, and Leon MUSAC, which received the Mies van der Rohe Prize. Mansilla was a professor at the School of Architecture in Madrid and had been a visiting professor at Princeton University.
Aleksander Markiewicz, an architect, 93, died April 1, 2012. He was born in Russia and studied architecture in Poland after World War II. He emigrated in the US in 1963, becoming a partner and chief designer at Sherman Associates in Bloomfield Hills, MI.
Isi Metzstein, a Scottish architect, 83, died January 10, 2012. Under the umbrella of the Glasgow practice of Gillespie Kidd & Coia (GKC), he and his colleague Andrew MacMillan designed many striking churches in and around Glasgow, as well as school and university buildings farther away. Their masterwork was St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross (1966), a dramatic reinterpretation of a quasi-monastic building type that was spatially brilliant and exuded a strong spiritual flavor, melding sacred and secular, especially in regards to the play of natural light. His oeuvre was also characterized by a series of important university buildings, including the Lawns Halls of Residence at Hull University (1968), the library and other additions to Wadham College, Oxford (1971–77), and Robinson College, Cambridge (1980), whichwas an entirely new Oxbridge college.
Bill Moggridge, a British industrial designer, 69, died September 8, 2012, from cancer. He was also director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum since 2010. Moggridge is credited with designing the first laptop computer, the Grid Compass in 1979,which was initially used by the military and installed onboard the space shuttle Discovery (priced at $8,150). The magnesium-cased device was unique because the screen display folded down over the keyboard. He co-founded a London-based design company in 1969, which is now a global consultancy firm called IDEO. He was the 2009 winner of the Cooper-Hewitt’s National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement (which was previously awarded to Sir James Dyson, Terence Conran, and Lord Norman Foster).
Kenichi Nakana, a landscape architect, 67, died August 8, 2012, from gastric cancer. Nakano was co-founder of the Seattle landscape architecture and urban design firm Nakano Dennis Landscape Architects (now known as Nakano Associates). Specializing in urban design and campus planning, the firm’s most well-known project was the reworking of the International Fountain at Seattle Center, which was installed for the 1962 World’s Fair.
Oscar Niemeyer, a Brazilian architect, 104, died December 5, 2012, from a respiratory infection. Never attracted to right angles, Niemeyer found inspiration in nature’s crescents and spirals; sensual curves abound in Brasilia’s architecture (of which he designed most of the important buildings when the nation’s capital was moved from coastal Rio to inland Brasilia in the 1960s). He was also one of a group of internationally renowned architects, including LeCorbusier, who designed the iconic 39-story United Nations complex overlooking the East River in New York City.
Robert Miles Parker, an artist and preservationist, 72, died April 17, 2012, from complications related to AIDS. He is most well-known for his pen-and-ink drawings of urban landscapes portraying storefronts, apartment buildings, theaters, and houses. In his earlier years in San Diego, he founded the Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO), which helped reclaim many Victorian houses and other neglected buildings in the area. He later taught drawing at Parsons the New School for Design in Manhattan. He moved back to New York during the last two decades of his life. On a visit to his former home he told an interviewer, “When I lived here, I felt too unique, too unusual. In New York I feel normal. The more absurd I dress and act, the more I feel at home in New York.”
Walter Pichler, an Austrian architect and artist, 76, died July 16, 2012. Although trained as a sculptor, his work integrated architecture, sculpture, drawing, and interest in the human experience, often resulting in fanciful, utopian, or experimental output. In 1967 he was included in a show at MoMA called “Visionary Architecture.” In the last four decades of his life he largely confined himself to his farm in Burgenland, Austria, where he turned many of his drawings and ideas into full-sized manifestations.
Claude Prouvé, a French architect, 83, died January 7, 2012. Son of the French architect Jean Prouvé, he wrote his thesis on theoretical ideas for a scalable industrialized habitat. He later developed his theories into the SIRH process, housing modules able to be mass produced and assembled to create scalable housing configurations. Bankruptcy of the firm he was working with forced the prototype building, the SIRH Building, to be abandoned before it was completed; it was demolished in 2012.
Roderick Robbie, a Canadian architect, 83, died January 4, 2012. British-born Robbie studied architecture and city planning in England before immigrating to Canada in 1956. As partner in the Toronto firm Ashworth, Robbie, Vaughan and William Architects & Town Planners, he was a lead figure in designing the inverted pyramid-shaped Canadian Pavilion at the Expo’67 World’s Fair in Montreal and the SkyDome in Toronto.
Yoshiko Sato, an architect, 51, died, Febuary 5, 2012, from cancer. Born in Japan, she traveled throughout Europe before setting in New York City to study architecture at the Cooper Union, and later obtaining a master’s degree from Harvard. She established Morris Sato Studio with her husband where she worked on projects that straddled architecture, art, and design. She was also director of the Japan Lab in Architecture at Columbia University.
Peter Shelton, an architect, 67, died August 26, 2012, from cancer. He was co-founder of the firm Shelton, Mindel & Associates, which was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame in 1996 and won the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Interior Design in 2011. The firm is known for a distinctive modernist aesthetic that blends clean lines with classical references to create opulent settings. It is credited for designing the offices of Polo Ralph Lauren in New York, where it created a light-filled atrium that combines traditional wood paneled walls and columns with an open plan with practical elements like staircases. The firm’s designs for the dining and bar areas aboard Celebrity cruise ships mix playful, curvaceous flourishes with multistory spaces to evoke a modernist version of great ocean liners of the past.
Norma Merrick Sklarek, an architect, died Febuary 6, 2012, from heart failure. She was one of the first African-American woman to be licensed as an architect in the US and the first to be licensed in New York and California. In 1980 she became the first African-American woman to be elected fellow of the American Institute of Architects. She worked for a number of firms, including SOM, Gruen Association, and her own, Siegel, Sklarek, Diamond, and was known for her ability to oversee the delivery of complex buildings on time and under budget.
Jonathan Speirs, a Scottish lighting designer and architect, 54, died June 18, 2012, from stomach cancer. He was a founding partner of the award-winning lighting design firm Speir and Major. The Guardian’s architecture and design correspondent, Jonathan Glancey, said of him, “Speirs worked creatively and prodigiously to show how artificial light can be a truly subtle counterpart, even in the biggest architectural projects, to the texture, variety, feel and ever-changing beauty of daylight.” Among the many notable projects he worked on are the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai; the Barajas International Airport in Madrid, the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan Mosque in Abu Dhabi; the Burj al Arab in Dubai; and the Copenhagen Opera House.
Henry Stolzman, an architect, 66, died August 8, 2012, from cancer. He was the senior partner of the New York firm Pasanella + Klein, Stolzman + Berg (now PKSB), known for its award-winning modernist designs of public places, university buildings, and private residences. Stolzman was particularly interested in synagogue design; he and his son Daniel co-authored Synagogue Architecture in America in 2006.
Anne Tyng, an architect, 91, died December 27, 2011. Affiliated with Louis Kahn both professionally and romantically in a 15-year relationship, Tyng traveled to Rome in 1953 to birth their child because it was so scandalous. Although she was among the first group of women to graduate from Harvard University’s architecture school in 1944, she struggled her entire career to get the credit due her.It was Tyng who convinced Kahn to incorporate Platonic solids in his strict modernist designs during the late 1940s and ’50s. Her influence is visible in the design of Trenton Bathhouse (Kahn’s breakthrough project) and in the triangular ceiling grid at the Yale Art Gallery, which was previously unprecedented in its dynamic use as an accessible cove for electrical wires and heating ducts.
Richard Vignolo, a landscape architect, 85, died May 28, 2012, from a massive stroke. Early in his career he worked in Lawrence Halprin’s firm, where he became a design principal and vice president. While there he worked on such notable projects as the Old Orchard Shopping Center in Oakbrook, IL; the Cascade Plaza in Akron, OH; and the Nicollett Mall in Minneapolis, MN. He established his own firm, Richard A. Vignolo, Landscape Architect, in 1972. Architect George Homsey said that he “always had a sense of what was appropriate for every site.”
William D. Warner, an architect and planner, 83, died November 5, 2012. Warner is credited with shaping much of downtown Providence, RH, such as relocating the Woonasquatucket, Moshassuck, and Providence rivers in the 1990s and creating Waterplace Park. Most recently he was the architect and planner for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s biggest project, the relocation of Route 195 and replacement of its interchange with Route95.
Eugene Weston III, an architect, 87, died January 31, 2012. Born into a family of architect-builders, after World War II he opened a construction firm with architect Douglas Myles. They worked with many of Southern California’s avant garde architects—such as Richard Neutra and John Lautner—to built countless mid-century modernist homes in the Los Angeles area, including some of their own design as well, which were characterized by their open, elegant, and simple. He later opened a partnership with architect Fred Liebhardt designing buildings for the San Diego Zoo, the Scripps Research Institute, the San Diego Yacht Club clubhouse, among others.
Stanford Woodhurst Jr., an architect, 90, died April 24, 2012. After graduating from the then all-male military Clemson University, he established Woodhurst & O’Brien Architects, a firm practicing today as Woodhurst Architects. The firm’s design projects include hospitals, shopping centers, schools, libraries, military facilities, houses, and many churches, one of the most notable being a new chapel and fellowship hall for the First Baptist Church in Augusta, Georgia.
Lebbeus Woods, an architect, 72, died October 30, 2012. Although his designs were never built (with the exception of the Light Pavilion completed in 2012 in Chengdu, China), his work was considered highly influential to architects, designers, filmmakers, writers, and artists. Through such theoretical projects as the future of the Korean De-militarized Zone he expressed his belief that architecture is a political force in society and explored a world free of conventional limits. He authored many books, taught at the Cooper Union and the European Graduate School in Switzerland, and was the subject of many museum exhibitions.
Joseph Angello, an architect, 81, died November 19, 2011, from complications related to recent surgery. A native of Sacramento, CA, Angello took a special interest in preserving the state capital’s history through its buildings. His firm, Angello Vitiello Associates, oversaw the 1967 restoration of the Morse Building, the first restoration project in Old Sacramento.
John Bancroft, a British architect, 82, died August 26, 2011. Bancroft designed the Pimlico School, a Brutalist landmark in central London built in the 1960s. Bancroft wedged the first story into the ground as basement pits and topped the building with three levels ofprojecting boxy concrete-and-glass classrooms that starkly contrasted with the neighboring stucco townhouses.
Al Boeke, a developer and architect, 88, died November 8, 2011, from liver cancer. Visionary of the famed Sea Ranch development in Sonoma County, CA, Boeke worked with some of the most innovative architects of the late 20th century (such as Charles Moore, Joseph Esherick, and William Turnbull) to design houses for the site. These light-filled postmodern wooden shedsbecame icons of Northern California architecture that respected the land by blending in with it.
Elisabeth “Lisl” Close,an architect, 99, died November 29, 2011, from pneumonia. One of the first women to practice architecture in Minnesota, Close was a major influence in bringing Modernist architecture to the Twin Cities.
George Dalton,an architect, 96, died September 10, 2011. After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in architecture, Dalton returned to his hometown of Cleveland, OH, to design the “very clean, simple modern buildings” that he loved.
Geoffrey Darke, a British architect, 82, died suddenly on November 8, 2011. Darke changed the look of social housing in England in the 1960s with a style characterized by irregular terraces in homespun brick. This style sought to break down the barriers between public and private housing and was widely imitated all over Britain.
Arthur Davis, an architect, 91, died November 30, 2011, after going into the hospital for tests. With his partner Nathaniel Curtis, their firm, Curtis & Davis and Associated Architects, designed such major New Orleans buildings as the Superdome, the Public Library’s Main Branch, and St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church.
Andrew Geller, an architect, 87, died December 25, 2011, from kidney failure. Geller’s whimsical modernist beach cottages helped define Long Island’s architectural heritage in the 1950s and ’60s.
Karel Hubacek, a Czech architect, 87, died November 25, 2011. Hubacek’s bold hyperboloid design for an elegant mountaintop hotel, Ještěd Tower, was named the most significant Czech building of the 20th century. Hubacek was awarded the August Perret Prize in 1969.
Roger Kennedy, a polymath and historian, 85, died September 30, 2011, from malignant melanoma. Kennedy was director of the Natural Park Service during the Clinton administration. As a lawyer, scholar, and author, Kennedy was appointed to the NPS position after serving as director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History from 1979 to 1992.
Kiyonori Kikutake, a Japanese architect, 83, died December 26, 2011. Kikutake was one of the founders of Metabolism, a group that envisioned large-scale cities of the future filled with flexible and expandable structures inspired by organic growth—and laced with a decidedly sci-fi aesthetic: floating cities, spiral skyscrapers, capsule-like expandable mega-structures. Through his firm, Kikutake Architects, he designed countless public and private projects worldwide.
Ralph Lerner, 61, died May 7, 2011, from brain cancer. Lerner was former dean of Princeton’s architecture school (1989–2002). His firm, established in 1975, gained attention in 1986 for winning the competition to design New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (still in construction).
Anthony Lumsden, an architect,83, died September 22, 2011, from pancreatic cancer. Lumsden was a Southern California architect who worked with Cesar Pelli in the 1960s to develop innovative ways of wrapping buildings in smooth taut glass skins by turning mullions inward rather than outward, hence keeping them flush with the rest of the exterior skin.
Colin Madigan, an Australian architect, 90, died September 17, 2011. Strongly influenced by Le Corbusier’s Australian buildings at Macquarie University and in the northern Sydney beach suburbs, Madigan’s style was characterized by Brutalist, concrete buildings, which remain a shorthand for Canberra architectural design.
Imre Makovecz , a Hungarian architect, 75, died September 27, 2011. An outspoken critic of communism, materialism, and globalism, he was banned from working in Budapest in 1975 and moved north to Visegrád, where he designed fanciful, idiosyncratic, and organic structures that mimicked patterns found in nature and were embellished with folkloric fairy-tale-like details: buildings appeared to grow like plants from the ground, windows resembled eyes, and wooden shingles resembled the feathers of a bird’s wings. He returned to Budapest as a national hero in the 1980s after the collapse of communism and went on to design hauntingly beautiful Catholic churches in Hungary and Romania.
Detlef Mertins, 56, died January 13, 2011, from cancer. Born in Germany, Mertins was a renowned professor of architectural history and theory at the University of Pennsylvania who was known for his encyclopedic memory and razor-sharp intellect.
José Montaño, an architect, 86, died November 28, 2011, from cancer. Montaño moved from Bolivia to Seattle to study architecture under Lionel H. Pries, one of the region’s most influential architects and educators who helped define the style of Northwest modernism. In his work, Montaño brought elements of his native Aymara heritage into building design, including the sense of proportion and symmetry of the pre-Inca style.
Wolfgang Oehme, a landscape architect,81, died December 15, 2011,from colon cancer. Oehme forged a partnership with fellow landscape architect James van Sweden in the 1970s to create the Washington, DC-based firm Oehme, van Sweden & Associates. The firm shaped many prominent public spaces in the area, including Reagan National Airport, the National World War II Memorial, and Freedom Plaza, along with many private gardens for well-heeled but adventuresome clients.They called their style “the new American Garden,” which was reminiscent of the American prairie and characterized by the use of various grasses and perennials, such as black-eyed Susans, coneflowers, joe-pye weed, salvias, and Russian sage.
Sergio Scaglietti, an Italian designer,91, died November 20, 2011. A coachbuilder, he designed some of the most elegant sports and racing cars, including a series of landmark Ferraris in the 1950s and ’60s. Scaglietti was called Ferrari’s “maestro of aluminum.” Working without blueprints, he molded the bodies of the 750 Monza, the 250 Testa Rossa, the 250 GTO, and the California Spyder.
Burton Sperber, a landscape architect,82, died September 30, 2011, from complications from surgery. He founded the California-based Valley Crest Landscape Company, which grew to a billion dollar business with 9,000 employees. The company’s projects include Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida and the Getty Center in Los Angeles.
Gene Summers, an architect, 83, died December 12, 2011, from liver disease. As Mies van der Rohe’s assistant (after studying under him at IIT), Summers worked with Mies on the Seagram Building. He later became chief architect for Chicago’s McCormick Place (1971) and dean of the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Bill Thomson, a British architect, 82, died during October 2011. Also trained as a town planner, Thomson was director of the London office of Colin Buchanan and Partners and designed many worldwide projects in Kuwait, the Netherlands, Malta, Algiers, Beirut, Shanghai, as well as numerous UK commissions.
Frank Taliaferro, an architect, 89, died November 26, 2011, from lung cancer. Although Taliaferro’s earliest aspirations were to be a naval architect (he was an avid sailor), he studied to become an architect and went on to co-found the Baltimore-based architecture firm RTKL. His firm is credited with designing the first mall with a food court in the US (the Paramus Park mall in northern New Jersey).
Jim Warner, an architect,88, died April 21, 2012, from heart failure. After serving in World War II, graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology with an architecture degree, and serving in the Korean War, Warner founded Warner & Summers in Atlanta, GA.
Lauretta Vinciarelli, born in 1943 in Italy, died on August 3, 2011 following a long battle with cancer. Vinciarelli was a distinguished artist and professor, revered for her masterful watercolor paintings of imagined spaces composed of form and light. Her work is in the permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art and SFMOMA, among other institutions. She was a much-admired professor who taught at City College, Pratt University, and Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
Sori Yanagi, a Japanese industrial designer,96, died December 25, 2011, from pneumonia. As a celebrated pioneer of Japanese industrial design, Yanagi designed household products, such as stools and kitchen pots, that brought simplicity and purity of Japanese décor to homes. His curvaceous butterfly stool, evocative of a Japanese shrine gate, helped elevate him to international stature; the stool is in permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Louvre in Paris.
David Yerkes, an architect, 99, died October 28, 2011, from congestive heart failure. After graduating from Yale with a master’s degree, he served as a principal in the firm of Deigert and Yerkes.While practicing in architectural partnerships with John Parker and Nicholas Pappas, he designed many public buildings, schools, and homes.
Eva Zeisel, a designer, 105, died December 30, 2011. Zeisel’s groundbreaking designs of elegantly simply tableware brought a sense of beautiful serenity to the American table. Her everyday objects fundamentally changed the look of American kitchens and dining rooms and are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and many other museums around the world.