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Barrie Russell (1932-2004)

Barrie Russell , who in died in Chichester, West Sussex on 12 May, was an architect, teacher, and writer and had worked in offices in Britain and Canada, writes Brian Avery.

Before settling down to teach at the Polytechnic of Portsmouth, Russell lectured in Britain, Denmark, Malaysia, Turkey, and the US. In 1981 he published the 758-page Building systems, industrialisation and architecture, which is still used as a reference book today.

I shall remember him on the South Downs in summertime - the jaunty straw hat, the tall lean frame and the asthmatic wheeze - the climb peppered with unpublishable anecdotes and acerbic diatribes concerning some local jobsworth messing up the environment again.

I shall remember him at home in the walled garden in a mellow mood and the wonderful tea and cakes cooked by his wife Jean.

I shall remember him in the pub after a lecture in London - his 'revolutionary's cap'pulled straight, the head craned forward, eyes streaming - and the questions, the probing questions.He wanted to know and to question everything.

I shall remember him teaching at Portsmouth and the many brilliant talents he nurtured there that helped shape Hampshire's architectural reputation.

I shall remember all the building studies, the house he built at Charlton and the massive book he wrote on building systems. It is still the best, the standard work.

I shall remember the correspondence. Two thick files full of postcards, clippings, poems and sketches from his travels all over the globe.

I shall remember, too, his affectionate cartoons of the Úminences grises of our profession - and his amazing sketches and paintings - much exhibited. His was a truly universal talent.

Brian Avery was a friend and colleague of Barrie Russell

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