Architect who was a pioneer in design for energy conservation
Richard Burton, who has died aged 83, was a third of the architectural partnership of Ahrends, Burton & Koralek (ABK), alongside Peter Ahrends and Paul Koralek. It is not particularly rare that three architects should meet as students and go on to practise together, but most unusual that all three should be involved in design and should remain lifelong friends. The partnership survived controversy when its competition-winning extension to the National Gallery in London was dubbed a “monstrous carbuncle” by the Prince of Wales in 1984 and cancelled, and it became one of the few practices founded in the early 1960s to span the gulf between the public and private sectors.
Of the partners, Burton was perhaps the least affected by the prince’s diatribe, for he had already forged an independent path in the design of low-rise housing, hospitals and energy efficiency, in the last of which he was a pioneer; he and the prince should have got on.