‘Architecture has lost a giant’

RIBA president Ben Derbyshire has led tributes to Neave Brown whose death was announced today.

The architect, who was awarded the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture in October, had been suffering from cancer.

Brown was best known for his work for Camden council’s architects department under the leadership of Sydney Cook, including the Alexandra Road estate.

Derbyshire said: “The architecture community has lost a giant. Neave was a pioneer: he showed us how intellectual rigour, sensitive urbanism, his supreme design skill and determination could deliver wellbeing to the local community he served so well in Camden.

“His ideas, for low-rise high-density housing with private outside space for all residents, still stand as a radical antidote to much of the unthinking, not to say degrading, housing product of the era.

“Neave’s contribution to architecture will not be forgotten. His vision and ideals live on in the generations of architects whom he has inspired.

“All his UK projects are listed. That they are loved by their communities is clear – the residents of Alexandra Road nominated him for the 2018 Royal Gold Medal for Architecture.

“His investiture, brought forward to last October, could not have been a warmer and more emotional celebration in recognition of his influential life and work.

“I feel honoured to have played my small part in this and my thoughts are with Neave’s wife Janet, his family and friends.”

Tributes paid to Neave Brown at the time of his Royal Gold Medal last year.

Grenfell, Thatcher and the future of housing: Neave Brown’s last interview with BD.