Gordon Wigglesworth

Architect active in development of London
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Gordon Wigglesworth was one of the leading figures in the massive architectural development of London in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly in relation to the capital's schools and housing. Besides reconstruction following the Second World War, there was a big push forward with the provision of new public housing that had been started between the wars by the London Country Council, the predecessor of the Greater London Council.

After a spell at University College London Wigglesworth, like many young architects such as Max Fry and James Alliston, joined the Royal Engineers for war service. Between 1941 and 1946, he saw service in Iraq and Iran with the Corps of Indian Engineers. Getting his diploma at the Architectural Association in 1948, he went to Hong Kong for two years in private practice and at the university. There he met his future wife Cherry, who became one of Britain's most distinguished paediatricians.

On his return to London he joined the office of Fry, Drew, Drake and Lasdun. The firm was working in many countries of the world, notably Iran and India - at the new city of Chandigarh where, with Le Corbusier, it was creating a new capital on the plains of Punjab. He was, however, attracted back to Britain's colony in the Far East for a further two years in 1954.

Wigglesworth became Assistant Chief Architect, Department of Education and Science, in 1957; then Director of Building Development at the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works from 1967 to 1972; and Principal Architect for Education of the Inner London Education Authority and Housing Architect to the Greater London Council, 1972-74. He also made further marks abroad when, after retirement from public service in 1980, he served for nearly a decade as a director of Alan Turner Associates, where he went to Madras for the Overseas Development Administration to examine its urban growth.

Soft-spoken, tolerant and seldom without a humorous twinkle in his eye, Wigglesworth was a jolly companion and considerate employer who combined aesthetic ideals with a strong talent for the administration of big organisations and small ones.

Hugh O'Shaughnessy

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