Modernist architect Sir Richard MacCormac dies aged 75


Sir Richard MacCormac, former RIBA President and founder of MJP Architects, has died aged 75 after suffering from cancer.

The modernist architect was best known for his award-winning university buildings including the Garden Quadrangle at Oxford, the Ruskin Library at the University of Lancaster (1996) and Burrell’s Fields at Trinity College, Cambridge.

MacCormac, who was made a Royal Academician in 1993, also worked on the underground station for the Jubilee Line Extension at Southwark and the Phoenix regeneration in Coventry, which was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize in 2004.


MacCormac began his career at Powell and Moya in 1963, before joining Lyons Israel and Ellis in 1965, from where he moved in 1967 to the London borough of Merton to work on social housing projects.

He left to set up the practice MacCormac Jamieson Prichard (MJP) in 1972, with Peter Jamieson and David Prichard, and soon won an open competition for a university building in Bristol – which would influence his career direction over the coming years.

MacCormac was controversially removed from a BBC project to redesign its Broadcasting House headquarters when managers became nervous about the architecturally ambitious newsroom he planned.

The architect, refused to “dumb down” his plans, resulting in a design that he later disowned.

Jeremy Estop, the current managing director of MJP, described MacCormac as a having an “unquenchable enthusiasm for architecture”.

He said: “While many architects achieve great success, few achieve distinction in all facets of architecture as Richard did.

“In design, as one of the pre-eminent architects of his generation; in education, as an inspirational university professor; in the profession, as President of the Royal Institute of British Architects; as a Royal Academician; as a writer of many articles on architecture; and as an insightful adviser to many distinguished organisations.”

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