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Andy MacMillan – the end of an era

It is hardly a tragedy when a man dies in his mid 80s, although his nearest and dearest will of course feel very sad (I can speak from experience as I am currently dealing with a similar bereavement). And you couldn’t get a much better version of dying in harness than sufferering a fatal attack while judging an architecture prize.

But the death of Andy MacMillan last week feels particularly poignant. He was not the famous architect in Britain, and arguably not the best either. He was a highly respected academic but there are others of those as well. But there is a definite feeling that, with his death, a book has closed.

It was his connection with the work of those so-Scottish modernists Gillespie, Kidd & Coia that made him seem so extra special. When Isi Metzstein died and was widely mourned a couple of years ago, there was a consolation in the thought that Andy MacMillan was still alive. Now he isn’t.

I never actually met him, so how am I qualified to talk? Well, actually I am. Because if a death only touches family, friends and acquaintances, then it is not that significant. It is the deaths that reach beyond that circle that really matter. RIP Andy MacMillan.

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