Derek Walker

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Derek Walker
Born (1929-06-15)June 15, 1929
Blackburn, Lancashire
Died May 11, 2015(2015-05-11) (aged 85)
Nationality British
Alma mater Leeds Art School
Occupation Architect
Known for Milton Keynes Chief Architect
Notable work Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds
Spouse(s)
  • Jill Messenger
  • Second wife (name unknown)
  • Eve Happold (2003-15)
Children Two sons
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 (15 June 1929 – 11 May 2015) was a British architect primarily associated with urban planning and leisure facilities architecture through his firm Derek Walker Associates.

Career[edit]

After completing his national service, Walker went on to study architecture at Leeds Art School, it was here he met his first wife Jill Messenger. He then studied planning at the University of Pennsylvania before returning to the UK in 1960 to set up an architectural practice in Leeds.[1]

From 1970 to 1976, Walker was Chief Architect and planner of the new town Milton Keynes,[2] and ran the architecture course at Royal College of Art between 1984 to 1990.[1]

He recruited a team 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 possibly the most celebrated was the Central Milton Keynes Shopping Centre.[3][4] At the time of its opening in 1979 it was a unique concept for 1,000,000 sq ft (93,000 m2) of retail space with a plan generated around covered landscaped streets. The team for this complex included Stuart Mosscrop, Christopher Woodward and Syd Green.[5]

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.[6]

Walker was the architect for the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, a £42.5million project which opened to the public in 1996.[7]

Academic Posts[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Derek Walker was born on 15 June 1929 in Blackburn, Lancashire,[8] and grew up in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Walker was married to the artist Jill Messenger, and had two sons.[9] He was married secondly and his third wife Eve Happold.[10]

Walker was a lifelong sports fanatic, with a passion for cricket and a supporter of Leeds United FC.[citation needed]

Notable projects[edit]

Derek Walker Associates[edit]

Milton Keynes Development Corporation[edit]

Publications[edit]

  • 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 978-1-85490-282-5
  • '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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Derek Walker obituary". The Guardian. 22 May 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "Derek Walker: Milton Keynes - The Art of Illusion". MK Gallery. 5 May 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  3. ^ a b N. Pevsner and E. Williamson, Buckinghamshire, 2nd edition, Penguin Books (Buildings of England), 1994, ISBN 0-14-071062-0, page 494.
  4. ^ a b Milton Keynes shopping centre becomes Grade II listed – The Guardian, 16 July 2010
  5. ^ Early housing in Milton Keynes Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre
  6. ^ The Whitney Museum repulses Norman Foster's first assault on New York, 1980.
  7. ^ a b "THE MUSEUM IN LEEDS". Royal Armouries. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  8. ^ "DEREK WALKER: Former Chief Architect and Planning Officer for Milton Keynes has passed away". MK Web. 12 May 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "Derek Walker: Architect whose greatest achievement was serving as the chief designer of Milton Keynes, the 'Forest City'". The Independent. 
  10. ^ Financial Times (13 May 2015). "Architect of Milton Keynes who blended utopia and nostalgia". Euro 2day. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "Newton Garth, new housing". Leodis. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 

External links[edit]