Dezeen Magazine

Bill Menking obituary

The Architect's Newspaper co-founder Bill Menking dies aged 72

The architecture community has paid tribute to William "Bill" Menking, co-founder of The Architect's Newspaper, who has died aged 72 of cancer.

Menking co-founded The Architect's Newspaper (AN) in 2003 with Diana Darling and was the editor-in-chief when he died on 11 April.

His death after a long battle with cancer has triggered an outpouring of tributes from architects, academics and journalists around the world.

"Menking was an invaluable part of the architecture community of New York as well as nationally and internationally," said Matt Shaw in an obituary for AN.

His "zest for life" and "knack for being in the centre of the action" were reflected on by the former AN executive editor.

"Menking was a central figure in the architecture culture"

"This is terribly sad news, and a huge loss," tweeted New York critic Paul Goldberger. "Bill Menking was a central figure in the architecture culture, liked and respected by just about everyone. And AN is a creation that all of us have come to value, and to need. RIP."

Menking was a tenured professor and trustee at Pratt Institute and was also on the board of directors at Manhattan's Storefront for Art and Architecture and The Architecture Lobby.

"The architecture world is mourning another loss: Bill (William) Menking, historian, writer, critic, founder + editor Archpaper + a loved Pratt Institute professor," tweeted Harriet Harriss, dean of Pratt Institute School of Architecture.

He wrote books including Four Conversations on the Architecture of Discourse and Architecture on Display: On The History of the Venice Biennale of Architecture, and was the curator of the 2008 US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture.

Menking remembered for "ability to connect" community

"Oh this is heartbreaking," tweeted Brenden Cormier, senior design curator of London's Victoria and Albert Museum. "I met Bill in Lisbon in 2013 – was immediately blown away by his energy, passion for architecture culture and ability to connect the huge network of people he had met along the way."

"He was incredibly generous to me, and for that I'm forever grateful. RIP," he added.

Architect James Timberlake also posted condolences for Menking's family on behalf of his architecture firm Kieran Timberlake.

"Kieran Timberlake sends our condolences to the staff at #AN and his daughter Halle; he was a terrific collaborator, critic, and tireless advocate for great design, the environment, and how architecture could improve the social good #WilliamMenking will be sorely and sadly missed," he tweeted.

Menking was born in 1947 in Puerto Rico and raised in California. He studied architecture and urban studies the University of California Berkeley and in Florence, Italy where he met members of the radical design movement.

After his studies, Menking worked as a labour organiser in New York City, at Studio 54, and as an art director for the 1980s television show Miami Vice. He moved to London to study at the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London and wrote for British architectural publications including The Architects' Journal and Building Design, before founding AN.

Photograph is courtesy of The Architect's Newspaper.