Max Nasatyr (1934-2003)
The architect behind the successful regeneration of London's OXO Tower, Max Nasatyr, has died suddenly, aged 68. Nasatyr worked in his spare time, unpaid, on the scheme in the late 1970s for the embryonic Coin Street Community Builders, at odds with Conservativecontrolled Greater London Council, which wanted to sell the land for speculative office development.
The South African-born architect argued strongly that the building - on London's South Bank - should be retained as a mixed-use development. And he pushed for the successful variety of uses, including the now-familiar galleries, social housing and top-floor restaurant, designed by Lifschutz Davidson.
Nasatyr also advocated 'opening up the river for the public', pushing for the retention of the Bernie Spain Gardens, which now runs along the riverfront, and the opening of a towpath in front of the OXO Tower.
The Coin Street Community Builders also credit Nasatyr with the 'reinvention of the traditional London square'within the context of social housing. He encouraged the model of shared gardens in housing blocks.
Nasatyr was born in Cape Town in 1934 and studied architecture at the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg before emigrating to the UK in 1960. He spent a year at the Architectural Association and then joined the LCC's Architecture Division. He was also a long-standing member of the Greater London Architecture Club.