The practice has been extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to work very closely with Charles Jencks, architectural theorist, designer, teacher and writer par excellence, who died earlier this week. He was our client and advisor on the Maggie’s centre in Manchester, completed just a few years ago, one of many cancer care centres that he initiated in memory of his late wife, Maggie Keswick Jencks.
Norman Foster, Founder and Executive Chairman, Foster + Partners:
"I am deeply saddened by the news of Charles Jencks’ passing. A doyen of architectural criticism, his all-encompassing contributions as a theorist, historian and designer reflected his love for architecture and the built environment. Under his tutelage, he inspired hundreds of students at more than forty schools of architecture around the world, where he taught and lectured throughout his storied career.
Education was never far from his heart and I was extremely supportive of his endeavour to convert his house in West London into a public museum. Over several decades, Charles had assembled a world archive of recent architecture in a single house – one that exemplifies in its own architecture, alongside his own worldview and the thoughts and works of different architects over fifty years.
As the co-founder of Maggie’s Cancer Centres, borne out of his late wife Maggie’s struggle with the disease, Charles showed remarkable strength and fortitude to turn a personal tragedy into an institution that brings so much hope to so many people. I will always remember him for his incisive focus and infectious humour that inspired all of us during the numerous design discussions for Maggie’s Manchester.
Above all, Charles and his late wife were dear friends over many decades. I will miss the cut and thrust of debating with him, the twinkle in his eye and an infectious humour with an ever-present serious undercurrent. Most of all I will miss his friendship. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."
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