Sir Lawrie Barratt, Sir Ted Happold, Sir James Stirling, Richard Seifert, Peter Rice

Sir Lawrie Barratt (1927-)

Founder of Barratt Homes and pioneer of mass home ownership

Sir Lawrie Barratt's ambition to provide affordable housing for the masses began in 1953, when he built his own four-bedroom home in Newcastle-upon-Tyne for £1750, half the then market value. In 2005, 47 years after founding Barratt Developments, the company sold its 300,000th residence. Mission accomplished.

Sir Lawrie achieved the company's phenomenal growth by introducing marketing principles to the sector, and in so doing created the first housebuilding brand. Hall of Fame judge Mike Freshney says: "He really transformed housebuilding from being a construction company product to a consumer-retailing business."

His marketing drive was characterised by a series of television advertisements in 1977. Filmed in a Barratt helicopter, TV actor Patrick Allen advertised an offer for £7000 "starter homes" in Mayfair. Not only did the advert mean that people everywhere knew the Barratt name, it was the type of deal that helped promote home ownership in the UK. Unsurprisingly, this made Sir Lawrie loved by the 1980s Tory government and in 1985 the Thatcher family bought a £400,000 Barratt home.

By 1988, Sir Lawrie had retired. Yet arguably his greatest success was still to come. In 1991 Barratt had been badly hit by the recession, reporting a loss of £106m. Sir Lawrie returned as chairman, and by the mid-year results in 1992 had turned the loss into a £2.5m profit.

In his own words: "It had become apparent that people wanted to own their homes and we decided to act."

Three key dates:

1977 Helicopter advertisements turned Barratt into first housebuilding brand
1981 Knighted
1991 Returned to Barratt as chairman

The famous Barratt helicopter used in the housebuider’s 1970s television advertisements

The famous Barratt helicopter used in the housebuider’s 1970s television advertisements

Sir Ted Happold (1930-1996)

Building Industry Council founder and leading architectural engineer

Professor Sir Ted Happold spent his career striving to bring people together, from his focus on the importance of teamwork to founding the Building Industry Council.

Born in 1930, Happold studied civil and building engineering at Leeds University, before starting his career at Ove Arup & Partners.

At Arup he worked on projects including the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Sydney Opera House. He also pioneered the use of lightweight tensile structures.

In 1976 he founded Buro Happold with five partners and was appointed chairman of building engineering at the University of Bath. He was head of the school of architecture and building engineering from 1977 to 1982.

Throughout his life Happold drew on lessons from his religious upbringing: "He was a Quaker by background and obviously that strongly influenced his thoughts and his way of life," says Rod MacDonald, Buro Happold chairman. "He was a great bringer together of people."

This attitude allowed him to form close bonds between people and professions.

And it was this network of close friends that in 1988 led him to launch the Building Industry Council, later the Construction Industry Council.

Happold was knighted in 1994. After spending a year waiting for a heart transplant, he suffered a fatal heart attack in January 1996.

In his own words: "A world which sees art and engineering as divided is not seeing the world as a whole."

Three key dates:

1976 Founded Buro Happold
1988 Launched the Building Industry Council
1994 Knighted

A detail from Sir Ted Happold’s Structures, Materials and Problems drawing that illustrates the relationship between these three factors in design

A detail from Sir Ted Happold’s Structures, Materials and Problems drawing that illustrates the relationship between these three factors in design

Sir James Stirling (1926-92)

RIBA Gold Medallist and Pritzker prize winner

Sir James Stirling's career had two distinct phases. He first came to international prominence between 1959 and 1964, when his engineering building at the University of Leicester was constructed. Inspired by Russian constructivists and the later buildings of Le Corbusier, Stirling and his then-partner James Gowan set the architecture world abuzz with this "new brutalism" of hard edges and sculptured forms.

His fame increased through the 1960s, with his history faculty library in Cambridge a particularly well-known work for its bold use of crystalline glass and brick. Yet, the work started to dry up and the 1970s was marked by brilliant competition entries that clients rarely, if ever, chose.

Then, in the late 1970s and 1980s "Big Jim", as he was affectionately known among his peers, made a comeback. In 1977 he won the competition to design the Staatsgallerie in Stuttgart. Completed in 1983, it is considered by many to be his finest building, using geometrical forms and wowing visitors to the extent that it was Germany's most popular cultural attraction by the end of the decade.

It was also the period that he started to rake in the honours, including the RIBA Gold Medal in 1980 and the US Pritzker prize the following year.

His former colleagues remember him as a brilliant draughtsman. Laurence Bain, who worked with Stirling in the early 1980s and now runs Stirling's successor practice, Bain + Bevington, recalls how he would take a red pen and mark his colleagues' drawings if he felt that they were not detailed enough. Bain says: "He would control the whole process in terms of drawings - he saw drawings as a way of informing the design process and would start off on a very small scale, about 1:500."

Stirling died in a routine hernia operation in 1992, just 12 days after he added a knighthood to his glowing list of honours.

In his own words: "I have a rather ad hoc and expedient attitude to structure, particularly as a design element, and I usually manage to prevent it from intruding in the architectural solution. I'm more concerned with sociological, environmental and organisational problems, which I regard as being more important in the evolution of a design."

Three key dates:

1981 Pritzker prize
1983 Staatsgallerie in Stuttgart
1992 Knighted, 12 days before his death

Richard Seifert (1910-2001)

The man who reshaped London's skyline

Richard Seifert designed more than 500 office blocks in the UK and Europe over a 50-year career, and fans and critics alike agree that he had the greatest impact on London's skyline since Christopher Wren. His workaholic production rate was matched only by the controversy that his tall, dominating buildings received.

He is most famous for the 36-storey Centre Point building that stands over Oxford Street and the Natwest Tower, now known as Tower 42, which is still the tallest building in the City of London. They also mark the two eras in which Seifert was at his height, the former built in the mid-1960s and the latter completed in 1981. However, it was in the late 1970s and early 1980s that he was truly appreciated, Centre Point finally being let to the CBI by owner and fellow Hall of Famer Harry Hyams in 1979, having lain empty for 12 years.

Seifert was by then a national figure, regularly mocked in Private Eye for his rather eccentric insistence on prefixing his name with "Colonel", his rank when he served in the army.

In the architecture community he was often derided for his business-like approach. However, it was this professionalism, coupled with his phenomenal knowledge of planning laws and regulations, that clients admired.

In his own words: "There are something like 350 acts of parliament governing building operations. I find it difficult to understand how an architect can possibly advise his client to their best advantage if he does not know the law."

Three key dates:

1963 Centre Point
1980 Draws up plans, which are never realised, for the world's tallest tower, a 139-storey construction in Melbourne
1981 Natwest Tower

Peter Rice (1935-1992)

Brilliant engineer and pioneer of computer-aided design

A favourite of the great signature architects Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, Peter Rice was the brilliant structural engineer that helped his bosses, and fellow Hall of Fame inductees, Sir Ove Arup and Sir Jack Lunz stand up the complicated sails of the Sydney Opera House.

His commitment to revolutionary engineering solutions meant that an architect's most dramatic aspirations could be realised. Perhaps the highlight was Rogers and Piano's Pompidou Centre in Paris, in which Rice came up with the addition of a gerberette - a beam support - and the use of cast steel, which was a material that had really only been used in the 19th Century.

As a result of his adoption of unusual solutions, Rice looked to pioneer new working methods, including the use of computers for structural analysis. This could be seen in his last great work, the three-mile long Kansai International Airport in Osaka Bay, Japan.

Completed two years after Rice's death, the building's wave-shaped roof is supported by an elegant structural column designed by computer. It is the last tribute to a man remembered affectionately among his peers as an "architect engineer".

Shortly before he died of a brain tumour in 1992 he received the RIBA's highest accolade, the Gold Medal. He was only the second engineer after Arup to get this honour.

In his own words: "The gerberette at the Pompidou Centre is an example of an apparently architectural decision that could only have been made by an engineer."

Three key dates:

1976 Pompidou Centre
1987 The Menil Collection Museum in Houston, Texas, designed with Renzo Piano
1992 RIBA Gold Medal

Peter Rice’s engineering solutions meant that the audacious designs for the Pompidou Centre could be built

Peter Rice’s engineering solutions meant that the audacious designs for the Pompidou Centre could be built