Dezeen Magazine

Tony Hunt with Buckminster Fuller, Michael Hopkins, John Walker, Norman Foster and James Meller

High-tech structural engineer Tony Hunt dies aged 90

High-tech pioneer Tony Hunt, who engineered buildings including the Sainsbury Centre, Waterloo station and Hopkins House, has passed away aged 90.

Hunt, who worked with high-tech architects Norman FosterRichard Rogers, Michael and Patty Hopkins and Nicholas Grimshaw, died last week, reported UK magazine Architects' Journal (AJ).

Hopkins House by Micheal and Patty Hopkins
Above: Hunt engineered Hopkins House. Photo courtesy of Historic England Archive. Top image: Tony Hunt (pictured centre) with Buckminster Fuller, Michael Hopkins, John Walker, Norman Foster and James Meller. Photo is by Tim Street-Porter

Hunt was born in London in 1932 and studied engineering at Westminster Technical College. He began his career with an apprenticeship at Wheeler & Jupp, before moving on to FJ Samuely and Partners where he worked on Eero Saarinen's US Embassy in London.

He established his own studio Anthony Hunt Associates in 1962, with Neave Brown's Alexandra Road Housing Estate in London as one of its early projects.

Through Brown, Hunt met Richard and Sue Rogers who had recently established Team 4 with Foster and Wendy Cheesman. He engineered their earliest works including Creek Vean and Murray Mews, as well as their seminal high-tech Reliance Controls factory.

After Team 4 split, Hunt continued to work with Richard Rogers and Foster at their new studios on projects including the IBM Pilot Headquarters and the Sainsbury Centre.

Sainsbury Centre by Foster Associates
Hunt engineered numerous high-tech buildings including the Sainsbury Centre. Photo by Ken Kirkwood

Hunt also engineered key buildings for the other high-tech pioneers, including Hopkins House for Michael and Patty Hopkins and the International Terminal at Waterloo station and Eden Project by Grimshaw.

While working on the International Terminal at Waterloo station in the early 1990s, Hunt merged his studio with the multidisciplinary architecture studio YRM group, with the company becoming YRM Anthony Hunt Associates. However, after YRM failed in 1997, Hunt continued his own studio until his retirement in 2002.

Tributes have been led by Foster, who said that Hunt was "a loyal and trusted friend".

"In the first decades of practice the professional and social sides of our family lives were wonderfully blurred," reflected Foster.

"Tony was a mature designer as an engineer, but he retained a child's sense of wonderment at anything mechanical and his enthusiasm was boundless and contagious. He will be dearly missed."

In a tribute shared with the AJ, Patty Hopkins said that the engineer was "just what one needed".

Hunt was one of the key figures in the high-tech architecture movement and was profiled as part of our series on the style.