04 March 2013
Architect Howard Liddell
Architect Howard Liddell has died just days before receiving the OBE he was awarded for services to ecological design.
The 67-year-old had more than 30 years’ experience in sustainable and community architecture. After working in practice for several years, he became a senior lecturer at Hull School of Architecture in 1971. This was followed by two years as a guest professor in Oslo, where he maintained a presence until his death.
In the early 1980s he founded Gaia Architects, became a founder member of Gaia International and, in 1993, his practice won the UK House of the Year award, establishing its reputation for eco-housing. Liddell was, however, best known for his influence on sustainable building policy, chairing the RIBA Architecture and Ecology Group between 1974 and 1979, before founding the Scottish Ecological Design Association in 1991.
Liddell hoped 2013 would offer hope for sustainable architects, saying: ‘As we have seen endless missed opportunities, greenwash and tokenism gain sway over the past 20 years, I have spent 2012 saying “the bad guys are winning”. To be given a glimmer of hope that this might change would be all I would ask for in 2013.
Grant Ager “ Fairfield’s Chief Executive “ said Howard will be sadly missed a fiercely passionate character he thrust affordable eco design to the forefront , Fairfield to that end pushed the green envelope that others have followed . Howard was a key factor in early days laying the foundations of one of the top regeneration projects in Scotland.
Howard was always full of stories and my favorite one was at a first meeting with the tenants group here in the late 80s when the estate was at its worst and council owned.
Out of the blue, a lady stood and shouted, ‘the problem with this estate is the pipeline’.
“Howard and Drew Mackie knew there was a sewage drain that ran through the middle of the place, but they really didn’t know what she was implying. “ They scratched their heads and looked at each other. Worrying the project may be finished before it started .
“Then she added: ‘Every time a guy from the council comes round here, and we ask him for something, he tells us it’s in the pipeline’.” I still laugh at that now
Our thoughts are with his family and his wife Sandy , his influence is one that many will follow a true legacy to a pioneer.