Patrick Nuttgens was raised in Piggotts Hill, near High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. His father, stained-glass artist Jozef Edward Nuttgens, married twice, and Patrick was one of four children from the first marriage. His mother died when he was seven years old. Jozef remarried and had eight more children, the eldest of whom was named Joseph Ambrose and is also a stained glass designer, still living and working at Piggotts Hill.
One day, when Patrick was twelve and a student at Ratcliffe College, he walked off the rugby pitch with a terrible pain in his back and, within a day, was paralysed from the chest down with poliomyelitis. He was hospitalised for nearly two years while he recuperated.
He studied architecture and painting at Edinburgh College of Art and Edinburgh University. He met Bridget Badenoch, an English Literature student at Edinburgh University; they married in 1954. In 1962, he became director of the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies at the University of York, and subsequently became Professor of Architecture there. In 1969, he was appointed as the first director of Leeds Polytechnic (now Leeds Metropolitan University).
He was awarded honorary doctorates by several universities, and was appointed CBE in 1983. His books include The Story of Architecture, The Art of Learning: a Personal Journey, The Home Front: Housing the People (1840-1990), York... the Continuing City (illustrated by Dr John Shannon), Leeds: The Back to Front, Inside-out, Upside-down City (1979) and The Mitchell Beazley Pocket Guide to Architecture.
Over the years, Patrick carved out a distinctive profile in the media, writing and presenting TV programmes on architecture and appearing as a panellist on radio programmes such as the Round Britain Quiz and Any Questions.
In his mid-fifties, he experienced worsening disability mistakenly diagnosed as multiple sclerosis now ascribed to post-polio syndrome. He operated from a wheelchair from 1985.
He died in 2004.
Patrick and his wife Bridget had nine children, including the composer Sandy Nuttgens.
- MacCarthy, Fiona (17 March 2004). "Obituary: Patrick Nuttgens". Guardian. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
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