Jonathan Hill obituary


My pal Jonathan Hill, who has died aged 65 from most cancers, was a design tutor and architectural historian on the Bartlett Faculty of Structure, College School London, from the late Eighties.

There he helped to arrange a brand new kind of doctorate, an architectural design PhD, which he took himself, changing into its first graduate in 2000 and directing it for twenty years.

In that function he grew to become internationally famend as a pioneer of design analysis in structure – a fusion of pondering, studying, designing, drawing and writing that he traced again 5 centuries to Leon Battista Alberti’s traditional architectural treatise De Re Aedificatoria. He additionally wrote various books, together with Climate Structure (2012) and The Structure of Ruins (2019), each of which delivered refined ruminations on how structure, panorama and historical past are intertwined.

Born in Maidstone, Kent, to George Hill, an architect, and Margaret Wadsworth, Jonathan attended Wellington faculty in Somerset earlier than going to the Birmingham Faculty of Structure, the Architectural Affiliation in London and later the Bartlett for part-time postgraduate research.

After gaining his skilled {qualifications}, he labored for a number of years as an architect with John Outram Associates, together with on the Isle of Canines pumping station.

However like many formidable younger architects, Jonathan was additionally doing part-time instructing work in design studio models – on the Architectural Affiliation and at Kingston Polytechnic (now Kingston College) – and it was that work which led to his appointment as a lecturer on the Bartlett in 1989. He grew to become a pillar of that establishment, rising to be professor of structure and visible concept, and was a universally standard determine, recognized for his intelligence, generosity to college students and colleagues, and his softly probing questions that made you assume laborious about what you had simply mentioned.

In addition to a London flat, Jonathan had a cottage subsequent to the Holkham property in Norfolk, the place he was happiest tending his backyard alongside his spouse, Izabela Wieczorek, additionally an architect, whom he had met when giving a lecture on the architectural faculty in Aarhus, Denmark, the place she was instructing. They married in 2022 after his sickness first appeared.

Of their pretty backyard, Jonathan dreamed of constructing a writing tower from which to survey the rolling panorama and see so far as the ocean.

He’s survived by Izabela and by his brother Christopher.


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