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Filtering by Category: Chapter News

Former Board Director and Architect, MJ Long passes (1939 -2018)

Fiona Mckay

mj long.jpg

AIA UK member and former board director MJ Long passed away on 3rd September.

MJ (as she preferred to be called) was a vibrant design focused architect. She was based in the UK since 1964, and with her late husband, Colin St John Wilson, designed the British Library. She latterly formed her own practice with Rolfe Kentish and they went on to design a number of museums and galleries including the fabulous National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, an extension to the British Museum, and the exquisitely detailed Pallant Gallery in Chichester. She also designed studios for a number of artists including R.B. Kitaj and Peter Blake.

Within the AIA UK, MJ was instrumental in organising one of the early Keynote lectures that featured Cesar Pelli, hosting building tours of her London-based projects, and contributing to student design charettes.

MJ had a life-long interest in education and she was generous with her time and experience in mentoring the younger generation of American architects living in the UK. Former MJ Long employee, and AIA UK member, Mark E. Breeze noted “MJ gave me my first architectural job, which was a huge leap of faith given I had no architectural training at the time. With calm warmth, incisive directness, quiet encouragement, and wonderful wry humour, MJ gave me strong foundations for not only how to practice, but also how to think architecture.  Her thoughtfulness, generosity, and rigor remain for all to experience in her works.”

MJ will be greatly missed.

Author: Lester Korzilius, AIA UK Board Member

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The AIA UK Chapter’s Annual General Meeting

Fiona Mckay

The AIA UK Chapter’s Annual General Meeting was held on 13 January, at Herman Miller’s Showroom. Once again, our members were treated to a generous spread of food and drinks courtesy of Herman Miller. They also introduced us to their on-going research into how to keep employees happy at work. These include the fundamental desires of employees including “Achievement, Security, Purpose, Status, Autonomy and Belonging”. These are true for any type of office, but I personally feel they are particularly true for creative fields, such as our own.

Our 2015 AIA UK President, Brianne Hamilton, recapped the year with a presentation highlighting events, photos and memories from our time together. It was a great year, and we look forward to another ahead.

At the end of the evening, the membership nominated and elected the Board of Directors which now include:

At Large:

  • Justin Cratty, AIA
  • Mark Kelly, Assoc. AIA 
  • Chris Kimball, AIA
  • Lester Korzilius, AIA, RIBA
  • Michael Lischer, FAIA
  • Alex Miller, AIA
  • Chris Musangi, AIA
  • Amrita Raja, Assoc. AIA
  • Robert Rhodes, AIA
  • Bea Sennewald, AIA, RIBA
  • Fariba Shirdel, AIA
  • Ecehan Esra Top, Int'l Asoc. AIA


  • Etain Fitzpatrick, AIA
  • Brianne Hamilton, AIA
  • Maria Soloviena, AIA
  • Elizabeth Waters, AIA

The executive positions were elected as follows:

  • President: Frederick Grier, AIA
  • Vice President: Fatos Peja, Int’l Assoc. AIA, RIBA
  • Secretary: Lorraine King, AIA
  • Treasurer: Anna Foden, Assoc. AIA
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Fiona Mckay

Two AIA UK members recently received one of the AIA’s highest distinctions, elevation to Fellowship.

AIA UK past president and current board member, Lester Korzilius, AIA, has been elevated to the College of Fellows for his many years of service to the AIA UK, the International Region, and the Institute. John McAslan, International Assoc. AIA, has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship for his distinguished achievements in design.

The jury noted Lester’s achievements, “Through his international leadership, service to the Institute, mentoring, and education facility practice, Lester Korzilius, AIA, RIBA has led the profession by advancing the influence of the AIA outside the United States, promoting the values of American architectural practice internationally, and helping shape opinions and actions within the United States towards international practice.”  Lester joins five other AIA UK members that are Fellows.  They are, Jim Baker, FAIA, Lee Polisano, FAIA, Stephen Reinke, FAIA, David Leventhal, FAIA and Michael Lischer, FAIA.

John McAslan’s work has been widely published internationally in professional journals, newspapers and monographs, the most recent of which is Transforming King's Cross, a detailed account of his practice's acclaimed and award-winning redevelopment of the station. John's practice's work has been extensively exhibited and has received more than 75 international design awards including 15 RIBA national and international awards.

Lester and John will be inducted into the College of Fellows on May 20th at the AIA's National Convention in Philadelphia.  The AIA UK congratulates them on this important honour!

Author: Michael Lischer

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