Designer of top Ipswich buildings dies

THE architect who designed some of the best-known modern buildings in Ipswich has died at the age of 89.Birkin Haward designed the GRE (now AXA) building in Civic Drive and the Suffolk College building.

THE architect who designed some of the best-known modern buildings in Ipswich has died at the age of 89.

Birkin Haward designed the GRE (now AXA) building in Civic Drive and the Suffolk College building.

He also designed Rushmere Hall and Halifax Primary Schools – and he was also responsible for the Evening Star offices in Lower Brook Street.

Mr Haward was born in Ipswich in 1912 and studied architecture in London. During the early part of the war he worked with a team of architects building hostels for munitions workers.

Later he fought on the western front before returning to civilian life in Ipswich after the war.

He won several awards for his designs in the immediate post-war period, and Ipswich was considered to have some of the best modern schools in the country.

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He was a partner in the Ipswich firm of Johns, Slater and Haward.

He continued working as an architect until 1982, his last major project was the library at Ipswich school.

After his retirement he painted and wrote books on architecture – especially East Anglian church architecture.

His wife, Muriel, died in 1956 and Mr Haward leaves three sons and a daughter.

One of his sons, also named Birkin, worked with Lord Foster on the Willis building that is now considered one of the finest in the town.

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