Only last June former chair Stuart Lipton was forced to resign in the wake of a damning audit report into 'conflicts of interest' at the design watchdog. And four months earlier, chief executive Jon Rouse quit to head up the Housing Corporation. (AJ 17.6.04).
According to CABE, Stewart will leave at Easter to pursue a 'new venture'. The search for a replacement begins in earnest on Monday (10 January).
Stewart had spearheaded CABE's Design Review Committee, formerly known as the Design Review Panel, since the watchdog's launch in 1999. He had also helped shape CABE's policy and guidance in areas such as housing and tall-building design.
In 1997 he was appointed Royal Fine Art Commission deputy secretary after 15 years in practice with Squire and Partners, where he was an associate.
Stewart refused to cast light on his decision to quit. However, CABE chief executive Richard Simmons said few architects had been as influential as Stewart in improving the quality of building design.
'His knowledge of the subject and incisive critical skills are well known,' Simmons said. 'They have always been applied constructively and, because he has focused a culture of learning from design review, to the benefit of a much wider audience than those whose projects are reviewed.'
Stewart's resignation coincides with the recruitment of 15 new members to the committee. These include Christophe Egret of Studio Egret West, Eva Jiricna of Eva Jiricna Associates, architect and housing expert Stephen Mullin, Kenneth Schwarz of Anshen/Dyer, Roger Stephenson of Stephenson Bell Architects, Tim Stonor of Space Syntax and Joanna van Heyningen of van Heyningen and Haward Architects.
by Clive Walker