John Eastwick-Field (1919-2003) Elizabeth Eastwick-Field (1919-2003)
John and Elizabeth Eastwick-Field, who died within four weeks of each other last month, both aged 83, made a notable contribution to the post-war rebuilding of Britain, first with schools and housing, and later with hospital and university buildings.
Elizabeth died first after a short illness. John, who suffered from long-standing breathing problems, could not live without her. Theirs was a very loving, though sometimes turbulent, relationship.
I became their friend when I joined the Bartlett in 1937, which was evacuated to Cambridge at the outbreak of the Second World War. We had the undivided attention of the inspiring but eccentric professor AE Richardson. It was a happy and creative time. By the end of the war, John and Elizabeth had married and qualified - John with a first and a gold medal. He worked at the Building Research Station and taught at the Architectural Association. Elizabeth pursued interests in film set design and town planning, while looking after their two children.
The three of us set up our practice, Stillman and Eastwick-Field, in 1949, in a war-damaged attic in London's Soho.
Over the years, SEF made its mark with designs published in the AJ and The Architectural Review, and won awards. It engaged talented young architects, many of whom went on to achieve distinguished careers; Terry Farrell and Nicholas Grimshaw met at Dean Street before setting up in practice together.
But there were shortages of materials, labour and funds. Nevertheless, the practice expanded and eventually moved to Highbury, where it continues.
The partners retired in 1986.
John was a universal man, good at art and science, and a perfectionist. He had a warm personality and was always sensitive to the feelings of others. By contrast, Elizabeth was tremendously practical and energetic. She could only join full-time when looking after the family - then grown to four - allowed. Not many women were partners in the early days, but Elizabeth kept up her end on the building site, in what was very much a man's world.
Of John's jobs I should mention the Residential School for the Partially Sighted, Exeter (1966), Mackintosh Hall Cultural Centre (1964), Trevelyan College Durham (1968, below), and Princess Marina Psychiatric Hospital, Northants. Among Elizabeth's jobs were primary schools at Allington Park, Kent (1970), and Market Harborough (1966) and a working girls'hostel and day centre at Highbury (1977).
The best of their own five houses was Low Farm, an isolated Suffolk farmhouse, saved from the bulldozer and beautifully renovated. Having settled their differences, the final result of the gardens, pond, bridge and barn was a magical place.
They leave three children: Nikolas, Jacqueline and Hilary. Stephen died last year.