CBE PPRIBA RA
|Born||3 September 1938|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, University of Cambridge
Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London
|Notable work(s)||Ruskin Library, Southwark tube station|
|Home town||Marylebone, London|
|Spouse(s)||Susan Karin Landen (c1964-1981)|
|Partner(s)||Jocasta Innes (c1981 - 2013, her death)|
|Children||William Paul Lars MacCormac (12 March 1969-), Luke Henry Landen MacCormac (1971-1982)|
Early life and background
Richard Cornelius MacCormac was born in Marylebone, London on 3 September 1938, the son of Dr. Henry MacCormac (1879 – 12 December 1950), CBE FRCP, a dermatologist of Northern Irish origin and Marion Maude MacCormac (1906–1998), (née Broomhall). Through his paternal lineage, MacCormac is the great-grandson of Dr. Henry MacCormac, a prominent nineteenth-century physician in Northern Ireland who was the father of Sir William MacCormac 1st Baronet KCB KCVO, who served as a house physician and surgeon to Queen Victoriaand honorary sergeant-surgeon to King Edward VII.
The MacCormac family was a well-known medical family in the nineteenth century that originated from County Armagh, Northern Ireland and claims descent from Cornelius MacCormac, a high-ranking naval officer, and Colonel Joseph Hall, a wealthy distiller in County Armagh. Distant relatives also include a branch of the Easmon family of Sierra Leone descended from Dr. John Farrell Easmon, the discoverer of Blackwater fever.
Education and early career
After serving his national service in the Royal Navy, MacCormac was educated at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, where he achieved a double first before proceeding to the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London.
MacCormac undertook a broad range of work, including social housing for the London Borough of Merton, before founding MacCormac Jamieson and Prichard in 1972. In 2011, he left MJP to set up a new practise in his own name.
After winning an open competition for the design of a university building in Bristol, he made his name in the 1980s through the use of modernist design, particularly in university architecture. These included: the Sainsbury Building for Worcester College, Oxford (Won the 1984 Civic Trust Award); the Ruskin Library at the University of Lancaster (Independent on Sunday Building of the Year Award 1996, Royal Fine Art Commission/BSkyB Building of the Year University Winner 1998, Millennium Products status awarded by the Design Council 1999); Bowra Building at Wadham College, Oxford; Burrell's Fields at Trinity College, Cambridge (RIBA Regional Award 1997, Civic Trust Award 1997); and the Garden Quadrangle at St John's College, Oxford.
Commercial clients have included: Southwark tube station for the Jubilee Line Extension (Royal Fine Art Commission Trust/BSkyB Millennium Building of the Year Award 2000); Wellcome Foundation Wing/Dana Centre at the Science Museum, London (Celebrating Construction Achievement Regnl Award for Greater London 2000); the Cable and Wireless training centre in Coventry (Royal Fine Art Commission/Sunday Times Building of the Year Award 1994), and a Tesco supermarket in Ludlow.
MacCormac designed the new Egton Wing of the BBC's Broadcasting House. But more than halfway through the project, the BBC asked for a redesign in light of its budget restrictions, and MacCormac refused, unwilling to sacrifice the quality of his design, and hence MJP was sacked from the project. In 1999, MacCormac designed a new home in Hampstead for then Arsenal F.C. striker Thierry Henry, described as "one of the finest examples of modern architecture in the UK".
MacCormac was a founder of the Phoenix Initiative, with artists Jochen Gerz, Susanna Heron and David Ward, working on merging art and architecture for the future concept of central Coventry. The project was shortlisted RIBA Stirling Prize in 2004.
Academic career and honours
He has taught architecture at the University of Cambridge (1969–75; 1979-810), and been a visiting professor of architecture at the University of Edinburgh from 1982 to 1985, the University of Hull (1998–99); and a studio tutor at the London School of Economics in 1998.
Elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1982, he was elected to the Royal Academy in 1993. Made an honorary fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge in 2006, he was awarded an honorary DSc in 2008. Made a CBE in 1994, he was knighted in 2001.
MacCormac married Susan Karin Landen in North Eastern Surrey in August or September 1964 and had two children, William Paul Lars MacCormac (born 1969) and Luke Henry Landen MacCormac (5 October 1971 – 30 June 1982), who died at age 10. <The Times, Tuesday, Jul 06, 1982; pg. 22; Issue 61278; col A Deaths >
In 1981, MacCormac met his long-term partner Jocasta Innes, the well-known author who wrote over 60 books. <http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/how-we-met-1256183.html> The couple, who met as next-door neighbors, resided in a spacious Regency house in Spitalfields until Innes died on 20 April 2013. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/10013601/Jocasta-Innes.html>
In June 2014 Sir Richard published Two Houses in Spitalfields. Photographed by the well-known interiors photographer Jan Baldwin, and with a foreword by the historian Dan Cruickshank, it is a beautiful and very personal description of the joined houses just off Brick Lane that he and Jocasta Innes shared for thirty years. Proceeds from the book are being donated to the Maggie's centres cancer charity. It was reviewed by the Gentle Author on the Spitalfields Life blog, and can be bought via www.maccormac.net.
Sainsbury Building for Worcester College, Oxford
Entrance to Southwark tube station
Burrell's Field for Trinity College, Cambridge
The Garden Quadrangle, St John's College, Oxford
- "Sir Richard MacCormac". Debretts. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
- "Father and son--a tale of two cities", The Ulster Medical Journal, Winter 1968; 37(1)1
- "Sir Richard MacCormac". Royal Academy. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
- Andrea Klettner (2 February 2011). "Richard MacCormac parts from MJP". bdonline.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
- Barnett, Antony (14 November 2005). "BBC in political row after sacking leading architect - Media - The Observer". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 10 June 2010.
- Chris Hastings (19 February 2012). "Henry to rebuild £6m London mansion to make va-va-room for 5,000 gallon fish tank". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
- "Sir Richard MacCormac". Trinity College, Cambridge. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
- "Sir Richard MacCormac". darkwaters.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
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