Birkin Haward 1912-2002

East Anglian, Bartlett School of Architecture trained, Birkin Haward was born in Ipswich in 1912, and embraced modernism early.

Articled with Ipswich architect Henry Cautley before attending Bartlett where he qualified in 1934, Haward worked in the office of Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff on the Cohen House, 64 Old Church Street SW3 project. A young architect, it would have seemed inconceivable to him a matter of a few years earlier that he would work in such close proximity to Mendelsohn who, until 1933 when he had to flee Germany, had run the ‘world’s busiest modernist practice’ from Berlin employing more than 40 architects.

Haward joined Mendelsohn in British Mandate Palestine in 1935 where Mendelsohn had just established an office in Jerusalem, and whilst he remained there until 1938. going back and forth working on separate projects with both Mendelsohn and Chermayeff, ultimately Haward was always going to build a practice back in England.

After the war he joined an Ipswich practice forming by 1953, Johns, Slater and Haward. Notable projects included Rushmere Infant School, winning the Festival of Britain architectural award in 1951.

In England, among his many noted projects was his involvement in the creation of Welwyn Garden City.

His son, also named Birkin Haward is an artist and architect who was trained at the Architectural Association in London and worked with Norman Foster for many years. According to the Norman Foster Foundation, ‘Foster and Haward worked on many relevant projects, such as Climatroffice, the Hammersmith Centre, the Renault Distribution Centre, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, and Willis Faber and Dumas project.

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