The Twentieth Century Society

Obituary: David Mackay

David Mackay, who died in November, was a partner in the Barcelona practice MBM (Martorell, Bohigas & Mackay), which designed the athletes’ village and harbour for the city’s 1992 Olympic Games. Peter Buchanan in the Architectural Review said that MBM played a key role in making Barcelona widely admired for its exemplary urban regeneration and as a hotbed of architectural talent. MBM gained an international reputation for reshaping cities, with projects as varied as Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam, Plymouth, Hastings and Bexhill. Michael Eaude in the Guardian said that MBM fought for proper respect for what Mackay called a building’s ‘given environment’. It emphasised architecture’ social role: not just flashy buildings but parks, libraries, schools and housing with space for pedestrians. ‘We’re against urban planning, as it’s known. There’s a space between urban planning and architecture, which is urban design.’