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Roger Westman

London, United Kingdom
1 of 4
Roger Westman in his late 20s

Roger Ulick Branch Westman (16 September 1939 - 29 April 2020) was an English architect. He was educated at Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith and the Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA). Westman was well-known for his contributions to social housing in London and to sustainable architecture in the late 1990s. He first wanted to become an architect after visiting an exhibition on Swiss architecture at the RIBA.

Roger Westman was one of the first British architects to pioneer sustainable architecture on a large-scale. In 1967 he appeared in Faces of Architecture, a programme by the British Film Institute (BFI) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). In the 1970s and 80s, Westman was an adviser on social housing and sustainability to the Mayor of London and London Councils. Westman was a member of the Twentieth Century Society (C20) since it was founded in 1979. He was also instrumental in the restoration and preservation of many early-twentieth-century buildings in Britain. In 1997 he received the RIBA President's Award for his long-lasting contributions to British architecture.

Eco-friendly architecture

Roger Westman was, for many years, a visiting lecturer at various UK universities; The University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, University of Bath, University of Kent at Canterbury, Oxford Brookes University, and the Architectural Association. His lectures tended to focus on the future of social housing, urban planning, and the practicality and necessity of sustainable architecture.

In 1989, Westman wrote an article about the importance of eco-friendly architecture, the use of materials and technology. After Westman published these articles, making buildings green and sustainable became a popular and important part of twenty-first-century architecture. Until the 1990s, few architects were concerned with the environmental impact of their design and buildings. Westman was one of the first architects to seek to minimise the negative environmental impact of building on such a large-scale, demonstrated in his design of the Jerma Palace in Marsaskala, Malta.

Art and design

Westman won awards for his architectural drawings. His first was the RIBA Howard Colls Travelling Studentship Award at the School of Architecture, the Architectural Association in 1959. He exhibited his architectural drawings and designs for urban planning at the Royal Academy of Arts, the Design Museum in Kensington, New London Architecture, the Architectural Association, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts. In 1981, Westman exhibited his scheme Walls: A Framework for Communal Anarchy at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

Walls was an attempt to redesign urban living. It presented a 'do-it-yourself' community build - from Year 10 to Year 20. It was reviewed as an "attractive idea... teasingly presented" in the New Scientist; "a marvel" in The Times; and "almost irritatingly understated... genius" in the London Evening Standard. In 1989, Westman received the V&A Illustration Award.

TV and radio shows

In 1989, Roger Westman first broadcast a discussion on social housing for the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. He later spoke again on Radio 4 about architecture and design in the twentieth century. Westman first appeared in the documentary film Faces of Architecture in 1967, a programme by the British Film Institute (BFI) and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). He went on to act as an architectural assistant on the popular programme, Grand Designs. His episodes of Grand Designs: The Eco-House, Suffolk (1999), The House of Straw, Islington (1999), Customised German Kit House, Walton on Thames, Surrey (2004), The Glass & Timber House, Dulwich, London (2007), and The Eco Arch, Kent (2009).

Westman's buildings

Pepys Estate (1966)Cheviot Gardens (1968)Lillington Gardens (1971)Tara Hotel, Kensington (1973)Central Hill Estate (1974)Cressingham Gardens (1979)Myatt's Fields South Estate (1984)Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis (1980)South Lambeth Estate (1982)Jerma Palace Hotel, Malta (1982)


RIBA South West Award 1980RIBA National Award 1982V&A Illustration Award 1989Swiss Architectural Award 1991RIBA National Award 1996RIBA President's Award 1997Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment 1999European Solar Prizes (urban planning) 2000

Personal life

Westman married Elizabeth Jula Westman (born 1944). They had two children and lived in Hampstead Garden Suburb. He was a member of C20 Society.

London, United Kingdom