WilkinsonEyre’s directors and staff are reflecting on the loss of Chris Wilkinson, who first set up the practice in 1983.
Chris was committed to an architecture of innovation. After completing his formal education he honed his craft with some of the most gifted and high profile architects of a generation. Establishing his own practice, he was quick to identify and develop the skills of a growing team, leading to a partnership with Jim Eyre. External recognition soon followed with the award of two major buildings for London’s Jubilee Line extension, the most important architectural commission of the decade.
Chris’ whole approach to design was founded in the meeting of art and science. He was preoccupied with the possibilities presented by new technology, but always sought to design buildings with an artist’s eye. He readily welcomed the contributions made by colleagues, resulting in a dedicated team that has stayed together for many years.
Responding to each new brief with spontaneity and vigour, his enthusiasm for design’s possibilities was infectious. He loved life and instilled the party spirit when the practice had something to celebrate. Alongside a portfolio of widely acclaimed buildings, his legacy is not only his past work but a practice that now competes successfully on a global stage, delivering solutions that are a fusion of art, architecture, engineering and joy.
Announcing his death, his family has made the following statement:
Alongside his many achievements as an architect and artist, Chris was a brilliant husband, father and brother. We will remember his generosity of spirit – he was always available to help others and committed and loving to his family and friends. He had a great sense of optimism, living in the moment, and making use of every second. He will be dearly missed.
Jim Eyre, Co-Founder and Director of WilkinsonEyre says:
I am deeply saddened by the loss of Chris Wilkinson. We have had a working relationship going back 38 years, which started at Michael Hopkins’s office and led to me gladly joining Chris in his new practice in 1985. His easy going, considerate and kind nature meant working together was a joy and we both felt there was lots of future potential when we formed a partnership in 1987. It was such a pleasure to work together on so many of our earlier projects, but as we grew as a firm we inevitably worked more independently with various members of our brilliant team, but always enabled by the absolute trust we shared in each other, that I valued more than anything. I will miss him greatly.