Charles Jencks, the architectural historian, landscape designer and cultural theorist has died at the age of 80. With his late wife, Maggie Keswick, he co-founded the Maggie’s cancer care charity that has commissioned a string of world-famous architects and won the Stirling Prize. The first Maggie’s Centre opened in Edinburgh in 1996, designed by Richard Murphy and was shortlisted for the 1997 Stirling Prize. There are now 24 centres across the UK and abroad, designed by the likes of Zaha Hadid, Fosters, Frank Gehry, Reiach & Hall, Steven Holl and Ted Cullinan.
Jencks was best known for his interest in post-modernism and his books include The Language of Post-Modern Architecture, The Universe in the Landscape and The Architecture of Hope. He lectured at more than 40 universities around the world.
Maggie’s chief executive Laura Lee led the tribute to Jencks, saying: “It’s very hard to come to terms with Charles not being here as he has been such a pivotal part in developing Maggie’s vision for a different type of cancer care and turning that vision into a reality.
“Over the last 23 years his passion, drive and imagination meant that leading architects from across the world came to build these extraordinary centres; places which have benefited thousands of people with cancer both in the UK and abroad.
“I know Charles will be remembered for his many talents, but for me personally his legacy lies in the contribution he has made to ensuring people living with cancer, and those close to them, have the best possible support.
“Maggie’s would not be the organisation it is today without his tenacity, dedication and charisma. He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his family.”
Editor of Plan Magazine