We were saddened to hear the news of Patrick Hodgkinson's death earlier this week, a visionary archiect without whom we wouldn't be here today. We were priviledged to work on two of his seminal projects, the Brunswick Centre and Harvey Court, and he remained a lifelong friend of the Practice. David Levitt and Gary Tidmarsh pay tribute:
David Levitt: 'Patrick Hodgkinson was trained at the AA with Adrian Gale, John Miller and Neave Brown in the same year. After working for Alvar Aalto he moved to the newly formed practice set up in Cambridge by Professor Sir Leslie Martin where, as a fifth year student I first met him, hugely talented, stylish and humorous. While working for Leslie Martin, Patrick was responsible for Harvey Court, the greatly admired and now listed hall of residence for Caius College.
'In 1960 Leslie Martin received one of many significant commissions in Bloomsbury, to design new housing on the Foundling Estate which had been built in the 18th Century to provide revenue for the famous nearby Foundling Hospital. Patrick was entrusted with this design and when it became a firm commission in 1964 Martin handed it to Patrick entirely. He built a team of five young architects, David Bernstein, Anthony Richardson, Dugald Campbell and Peter Myers, who had come straight from Sydney working on the opera house, and myself. We always kept in touch.
'Finished in 1972 , the Brunswick as it became known after a succession of different owners , was acquired around 1998 by an enterprising developer Michael Ingall of Allied London Properties. Mike Ingall had the inspiration to invite Patrick out of retirement to work alongside Levitt Bernstein and to transform the retail levels into the success they are today.'
Gary Tidmarsh, Chairman: 'Patrick Hodgkinson played a major part in shaping Levitt Bernstein. David Levitt and David Bernstein met working in Patrick’s office on the design the innovative Brunswick Centre in Bloomsbury. Patrick’s vision was for a new lowrise village in the heart of London – at a time when everybody else was being pressed to build tall – offering shops and a mix of different sized affordable homes, each with more living and open space than those that were being replaced. Sadly, because of funding problems many of the original ideas were downgraded or not built at all. However, the social and humanist values that drove the design have been the same values that have permeated through Levitt Bernstein’s work ever since.
'Though remaining a friend of the practice our paths did not cross professionally again until the 1990s, when Allied London, the new owners of the Brunswick Centre, invited Patrick to return to the project and realise his original vision. In turn, Patrick invited Levitt Bernstein to rejoin him in working on the project.
'His knowledge of the building and how it should work in practise had not diminished in the interim, and he was committed to making the Brunswick Centre the best it could be. Its successful completion delighted him and its legacy is testament to his vision, talent and skill. We shall be forever grateful for being given the opportunity to know and work with such an outstanding architect.'