Modernist architect and prize founder Michael Manser dies


Modernist urban designer Michael Manser, who founded of the Manser Medal, has died at the age of 87.

The RIBA Manser Medal is an annual prize given to UK’s best new house. It was launched in 2001, although it has been recently renamed House of the Year.

His projects included Larchfield Swimming Pool in Surrey and Schild House in London, as well as the ground-breaking Capel Manor House in Kent (pictured with Manser).


Described as Britain’s answer to Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion, this house is regarded as one of the most important examples of Modernist architecture in the UK.

In later years, Manser’s firm took on larger projects, including the Sterling Hotel at Heathrow Terminal 4, Southampton Airport in Hampshire and the British High Commission in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

The architect served as president of the Royal Institute of British Architects between 1983 and 1985, becoming an ambassador for Modernist design at a time when it was under fire from Prince Charles – who described a planned expansion to the National Gallery as a “monstrous carbuncle” during his 1984 RIBA speech.

He was also awarded a CBE for services to architecture in 1993.

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