John Hurley (1937-2004)
John Hurley, who worked alongside the legendary Denys Lasdun on many projects including the Royal College of Physicians, has died aged 67, writes John Robertson.
Hurley was one of the few remaining links to the high point of British Modernism. After studying at the Welsh School of Architecture and working for a couple of years in his native Wales at Thomas and Morgan, he joined Frederick Gibberd at Harlow in 1962. Unlike many of his contemporaries, who designed New Towns but went home to a terraced house in Islington, John chose to live in Harlow for the rest of his life. It is for this contribution to first kindling and then reviving the Modernist ethos that he will be principally remembered.
Though it started when he worked for Gibberd, it took a defining turn in his relationship of nearly 40 years with Lasdun. He began working for Lasdun in 1966, becoming a partner of Denys Lasdun, Peter Softley & Associates in 1987. When he co-founded Hurley, Robertson & Associates in 1993, he continued with Lasdun as an executive architect.
During this period Hurley saw opinion swing first dramatically against Modernism and then slowly return with the partial recognition of the movement's capabilities and suitability for public institutions, workplaces and homes. This reversal of fortune owes much to John's determination and ability. His skills and experience meant his input remained valuable long after normal retirement age, and it is very sad that he should have died only months after stepping down as a director to become a consultant to our firm.
John Robertson is director and co-founder of Hurley, Robertson and Associates. This obituary can be read in full at www. ajplus. co. uk