Architect designed UK's first sheltered housing scheme

David Parkes, one of the UK's foremost housing architects and founder of c (now PRP), died last week at the age of 77.

Far from today's popular conception of architect as star, Parkes was committed to working as part of a team with clients, sociologists, engineers, quantity surveyors and other architects.

Tower Side in Wapping High Street, London by Phippen Randall and Parkes

At the Ministry of Housing and Local Government in the early 1960s, he designed the UK's first sheltered housing scheme at Stevenage, which established independent but secure living for older people.

In 1963, he played a key role in Phippen Randall & Parkes' first scheme, a group of single-storey courtyard houses at the Ryde in Hatfield, which has since been recognised as one of the few post-war housing schemes to be listed Grade II.

Up until his retirement from PRP in 1993 and afterwards at the Housing Design Awards and at John Prescott's £60,000 house competition, he constantly encouraged cost-effective design quality in housing.