Great architect and thoroughly decent human being – tributes to Olympic Village designer David Mackay

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Architect David Mackay who played an important role in the design of the Olympic Village for Barcelona 1992 has died at the age of 80.

The MBM Arquitectes co-founder, who is  of Anglo-Irish descent, is best known for projects in his adopted home city of Barcelona, including the recently completed design museumbut also worked on regeneration proposals across England

Born in Eastbourne, Sussex, in 1933, Mackay studied architecture at North London Polytechnic.

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In the late 1950s he and his wife moved to Barcelona, where he began working with Spanish architects Josep Martorell and Oriol Bohigas and MBM was founded

They worked on the city masterplan for Barcelona’s Olympic Games and Mackay later moved into an apartment within the development.

In 2002 the architect oversaw the £2 billion regeneration of the Lower Lea Valley in east London, and in 2003 he became the lead architect for the redevelopment of Plymouth.

He also authored two books on architecture – A Life in Cities: An Architectural Autobiography, published in 2009, followed by On Life and Architecture in 2013.

Iain Connelly, president of the Royal Incorporation of Scottish Architect paid tribute, saying: “David Mackay’s work helped shape many cities and greatly influenced the evolution of European architecture and city planning.

“His many built projects and masterplans testify that he was an architect of consummate skill and sensitivity who was always determined that his work should serve people’s needs and improve their lives.

“He was undoubtedly a great architect, but more importantly, a thoroughly decent human being and someone it was a great privilege to know.”

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