Thursday24 August 2017

Gerrard O’Carroll dies at 47

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Architect and academic Gerrard O’Carroll, has died from cancer at the age of 47.

O’Carroll, a senior tutor at the Royal College of Art, was a passionate teacher and futurist as well as a leading exhibition designer, curator, writer and contributor to BD.

Although nicknamed “the king of darkitecture” by a critic after his macabre 2007 show at the Architecture Foundation, where he was also design director, O’Carroll revelled in high sarcasm and humour.

Curator Claire Catterall, who collaborated with O’Carroll on a number of exhibitions, described him as “talented, really extraordinary and very funny”.

O’Carroll joined the RCA in 2001 at the invitation of architecture school head Nigel Coates.

He had worked for Branson Coates since 1988 and continued to work on selected projects with his own company the Office for New Environments.

At the RCA he set up Architecture Design Studio Four with Fiona Raby, most recently running the studio with Nicola Koller.

O’Carroll remained heavily involved with the studio until three months ago, conducting tutorials via Skype. The studio’s theme for this year was “immortality”.


Readers' comments (5)

  • James Balston

    Very sorry to hear this. I worked with him years ago when I was Interior Designer at Jigsaw, and he was at Branson Coates. He was a real character and hugely talented.

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  • Gerrard was a selfless, devoted tutor and friend- who treated his students as close friends. I will never forget his fantastical, dark and often shocking ideas, he truly changed the way I think about architecture and the world in which we live. For all of this, and for his dedication to my two years at the RCA in particular, I owe him so much.

    Thank you Gerrard.


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  • harriet harriss

    Gerrard was an irreducibly passionate, portentous visionary, a formidable and inspiring tutor, whose irreducible spirit will remain with all who knew him.

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  • I remember Gerrard (Gerri) from his student Bolton Street days in 1980s Dublin. His humour, talent and ambition shone through even then. He was always ready with an outrageous greeting whilst his 2 close friends, Brian and Cliona giggled in the background. He seemed to solve the technical aspects of any problem with ease whilst agonising about what pen width to draw up in. I still remember his Aldo rossi inspired crematorium project as a revelation- theatre and architecture seamlessly combined. We last met sometime in the early nineties in an extremely stylish London venue of Gerrards choosing where it was clear we were heading in different directions.
    Peace Gerri, Safe Journey

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  • Really sorry to see Gerry is no longer with us. One of the few genuinely "sparky" wits in Bolton Street when I studied there in the eighties. Gerry was a bundle of energy and good humour, infecting every crit with a sense of fun, just the way a design course *should* be subverted. One of the good guys. Some of his college friends are only new renewing acquaintance on Facebook after long years and its a sad and sobering thought that Gerry will be absent from any gathering we might hold. He'll be with us in spirit.

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