Stanley Amis obituary | Structure

Stanley Amis, who has died aged 97, was one of many final surviving members of a technology of architects who returned from second world battle service to form the infrastructure and visible identification of the nation. Theirs was a social structure, characterised by a severe engagement with the customers of their buildings. In Amis’s case these included Cambridge graduates and submariners; prisoners and pensioners; theatre-goers and council tenants.

He minimize his tooth on the Alton West property, Roehampton, for the London county council (LCC), a translation of Le Corbusier’s rules of urbanism into an English parkland setting. On the LCC, with Invoice Howell, John Killick and John Partridge he fashioned an inseparable workforce. Their subsequent observe, Howell Killick Partridge & Amis (HKPA) injected British structure with a shot of zeal and rigour, drawing upon architectural historical past and visible analogies with things like toys, tents, aeroplanes and tortoise shells.

Of the companions, Amis was, in Partridge’s phrases, an “organisation man”. He was adept at working giant and complicated jobs and had the schedules and funds of the observe at his fingertips. But it might be a mistake to low cost his design talents. Amis’s finest buildings evince a refined perspective to sunlight and supplies, a resourceful use of web site and price range and an specific strategy to construction.

Acland Burghley college in Tufnell Park, London, by the Howell Killick Partridge & Amis partnership, 1963-67. {Photograph}: James O Davies/The Historic England Archive, Historic England

Precast concrete, his medium of selection, was approached as an assemblage of bits: how the elements come collectively, how they hit the bottom and the way they meet the sky. It was a down-to-earth strategy; the architect Clare Wright, who began out at HKPA, remarked on the way in which during which the companions “revelled within the everydayness of structure” – the antithesis of the pretentious, self-centred design tradition that prevails as we speak.

Early on, the mathematically minded Amis turned fascinated with geometry and architectural proportion, turning into one of many first British architects to translate into ft and inches the Modulor, the dimensions of proportions devised by Le Corbusier and used when designing Alton West.

The Modulor was recapitulated at 80-90 South Hill Park in Hampstead (1954-56), six terraced homes by Amis with Invoice and Gillian Howell, for themselves and 4 acquaintances. It turned an influential mannequin, being studied by Neave Brown for his homes at Winscombe Avenue in Dartmouth Park.

HKPA solid their popularity within the increasing area of instructional buildings. A maiden fee was Acland Burghley (1963-77), a complete college for his or her former employer, the LCC. Working inside stringent price limits, Amis derived visible curiosity from the modelled concrete cladding and a top-lit meeting corridor. His experience in precast concrete was put to make use of on the 1970-72 school of city and regional research at Studying College, a bristling show of ochre-hued posts and double beams. South Hill Park, Acland Burghley and the Studying school are as we speak listed buildings.

The faculty of urban and regional studies, Reading University, 1970-73, where Stanley Amis’s expertise in precast concrete was put to use.
The college of city and regional research, Studying College, 1970-73, the place Stanley Amis’s experience in precast concrete was put to make use of. {Photograph}: James Davies/The Historic England Archive, Historic England

A capability to assume on the largest and the smallest scales concurrently got here in helpful at Devonport naval base, HKPA’s largest venture, the place, over 15 years, Amis oversaw the design of a fleet upkeep base and a refit complicated for nuclear submarines.

On the similar time he set about changing Decrease Trevollard, a derelict farmhouse in rural Cornwall, as a household dwelling and department workplace. Probably the most memorable half – now sadly altered – was the South Home the place, below a roof of reclaimed Delabole slate, Amis created an open-plan inside of rubble partitions, slate flags, uncovered king publish trusses and wood furniture of his personal design.

Stanley was born in Virginia Water, Surrey, the son of Frederick Amis, {an electrical} engineer for the Worldwide Western Electrical Firm, and Belinda (nee Nash). He attended Service provider Taylors’ college in London, then gained a spot on the Architectural Affiliation (AA) Faculty of Structure, the place Frederick Gibberd was then principal.

After service with the Fleet Air Arm and Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, he returned to the AA in 1946. It was a wealthy mixture of returning servicemen and school-leavers, half of whom have been girls. There he met his future observe companions Killick and Invoice Howell, with whom he joined the architect’s division of the LCC in 1950.

80-90 South Park Hill in Hampstead, London, terraced houses designed by Stanley Amis with Bill and Gillian Howell, for themselves and four acquaintances.
80-90 South Park Hill in Hampstead, London, terraced homes designed by Stanley Amis with Invoice and Gillian Howell, for themselves and 4 acquaintances. {Photograph}: Graeme Robertson/The Guardian

After a stint with Easton and Robertson, working as the positioning architect for the Shell Centre on the South Financial institution in London, Amis was reunited with Howell, Killick and Partridge in 1961. After retiring from HKPA in 1989, he gained his non-public pilot’s licence and was flying single-engine plane into his 80s.

Amis married Isabel Over in 1946; the couple had two kids, Mark and Philip. After Isabel’s loss of life, in 1965 Amis married the actor Margaret Wolfit; that they had a daughter, Lucy. The wedding was later dissolved. Amis is survived by his third spouse, Thelma Sorensen, whom he married in 2005, and by Lucy and Philip. Mark predeceased him.

Stanley Frederick Amis, architect, born 12 January 1924; died 10 August 2021

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