Derek Walker

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This article is about the British architect. For the American football player, see Derek Walker (American football). For the New Zealand cricket player and umpire, see Derek Walker (cricketer).

Derek John Walker (born 15 June 1929, Blackburn Lancashire) is a British architect primarily associated with urban planning and leisure facilities architecture through his firm Derek Walker Associates. From 1970 to 1976, Walker was the first Chief Architect of the new town Milton Keynes, and head of Architecture at Royal College of Art[citation needed]. With Stuart Mosscrop and Christopher Woodward, Walker designed the Central Milton Keynes Shopping Centre, one of the first U.S.-style shopping centres in Britain, opening three years after the Brent Cross Shopping Centre.[1]

From 1970-76 he was the first and only Chief Architect and Planner of the new city of Milton Keynes. He recruited an exceptionally talented team unique in the history of the New Towns movement, and over seven years produced a landscaping strategy for the new city, eleven village plans, the structure for the programme for producing 3000 houses per year with supporting community, leisure, retail and sporting and cultural facilities. Amongst many buildings of real unique quality possibly the most celebrated was the central Area Shopping Building. A unique concept at the time 1,000,000 sq ft (93,000 m2) with a plan generated around covered landscaped streets. The Close knit team for this complex included Stuart Mosscrop, Christopher Woodward and Syd Green.

In 1980, Walker was involved with Norman Foster and Frank Newby in a controversial scheme to expand the Whitney Museum in New York City using air rights purchased from nearby properties to build a mixed-use skyscraper which would include a new wing for the museum. When a furore developed, the museum denied it had solicited the team.[2]

Academic Posts[edit]


Walker was married to the artist Jill Messanger, and has two sons both who live in Yorkshire.

Walker currently lives in London as well as living in Yorkshire & Bath. He continues to travel extensively in Europe and the United States. He has a huge passion for Cricket



  • The Great Engineers: The Art of British Engineers 1837–1987. ISBN 0-85670-917-4.
  • Happold: The Confidence to Build. ISBN 0-419-24060-8.
  • Animated Architecture.
  • 'Derek Walker Associates 'The View from Great Linford' Monograph" ISBN 85490282 2
  • 'Los Angeles Profile Architectural Design Magazine with USC 1982"
  • Structural Engineering Design in Practice. With Roger Westbrook.
  • The Royal Armouries The Making of a Museum. With Guy Wilson ISBN 0-948092-26-2.
  • New Towns (Architectural Design, No 111). With Maggie Toy.
  • AD Milton keynes 1.2.3 Volumes Profiles Architectural Magazine 1973-4-5.
  • The Architecture and Planning of Milton Keynes.


External links[edit]