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Former Kingston School of Architecture head Dennis Berry dies

Dennis Berry, the head of Kingston School of Architecture between 1966 and 1987, has died aged 83.

During his 21 years at the helm, he steered Kingston's Part 1 course to degree status and started some of the first post-graduate MA courses in architectural education.

After distinguished service during the Second World War training pilots for the RAF, Berry studied at Leicester School of Architecture.

He then worked for Hugh Casson in London around the time he was masterminding the Festival of Britain exhibition.

Berry went on to form his own practice, later known as Berry Blackstock Associates, and designed a series of elegant, small Modernist houses, one of which was featured in the AJ (07.02.57).

He also started to teach part-time at Kingston and eventually wound up his practice to take over the headship of the school in 1966. Berry retired in 1987 after a heart attack.

His successor, Peter Jacob, believes the energetic Berry will be especially remembered for bringing new life into the school. He said: 'When he took over, the school was down at the lower end and he really revitalised it.

'He had a very positive attitude, a lot of energy and was an extremely good studio teacher.

Jacob added: 'He also was very interested in fast cars, like most architects.'

A keen letter writer to the AJ, he was active in the RIBA, ARCUK and a founder member of SCHOSA.

Married twice, he is survived by his second wife, Sandra, and his son, Jonathan.

Berry's funeral will take place this Thursday (25 August) at the Morden Crematorium, Lower Morden Lane, Morden at 4pm.

The family will also be holding a celebration of Berry's life at his home in New Malden, Surrey on Saturday 8 October.

Anyone wishing to attend should contact Sandra Berry at sandra.berry@blueyonder.co.uk

by Richard Waite

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