Dezeen Magazine

Portrait of Michael Squire

Michael Squire of Squire & Partners dies aged 77

British architect Michael Squire, the founder of architecture firm Squire & Partners, has died aged 77 following a short illness.

The news of  Squire's passing on Thursday 4 May 2023 was announced on Tuesday in a statement from his family.

"It is with the deepest sorrow that the family of Michael Squire and all at Squire & Partners announce that Michael died on Thursday May 4, 2023, following a short illness," it read. "We are all in shock and still absorbing the loss of an extraordinary man."

Born in 1946, Squire studied architecture at St John's College in Cambridge before going on to found his own practice, at which he worked until his passing.

Photo of Brixton Windmill by Michael Squire of Squire & Partners
Michael Squire founded Squire & Partners, which designed the Brixton windmill. Photo is by Jack Hobhouse

Squire founded his eponymous practice, Michael Squire Associates, together with Paul Harrison in 1976 after working for his father Raglan Squire – a British architect responsible for rebuilding Eaton Square – in Jakarta and Bahrain.

Michael Squire Associates has since become Squire & Partners and is now led by Michael Squire's son Henry Squire and partners Tim Gledstone and Murray Levinson.

Squire & Partners was responsible for many key buildings and major urban projects across the UK and London, including masterplans such as Chelsea Barracks, One Tower Bridge and Southbank.

In 2017, the practice worked with SOM to build the Lexicon, a 117-metre-tall tower in Islington.

Lexicon by Squire and Partners
Squire & Partners were responsible for major projects across London, including the Lexicon. Photo is by James Jones

The practice also designed the Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge, the Brixton Windmill, the Design and Technology block at St James' School in Kent, the Department Store in Brixton and a bronze-clad home in Mayfair.

"I am very sad to learn of the passing of Michael Squire," said Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) president Simon Allford in a statement.

"I shall always remember Michael as a thoughtful and generous man, who built a much-admired practice, then helped pass this practice on to the next generation. He was a fine architect who, with remarkable and admirable consistency, designed, and on occasion also developed, very fine architecture. "

Under Squire's leadership, the practice has won numerous awards for its projects nationally and internationally, including its Reiss headquarters, which won a RIBA Award for its architectural excellence, and The Department Store, which won a RIBA National Award.

Squire served as jury chair for RIBA Awards, was a member of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea’s Architecture Appraisal Panel and often played a part in industry events at the RIBA, Open City and New London Architecture.

The architect was a third-generation member of The Architecture Club, which was founded by his grandfather and poet Sir John Squire.

Green Shoots Foundation Agriculture Technology Centre in in Krong Samraong, Cambodia by Squire & Partners and SAWA
Squire founded his practice in 1976. Its work includes a community school. Photo is by Squire & Partners/SAWA

Squire is survived by Rosy, his wife of 45 years, his children Henry, George, Richard, Charles, and Miranda, as well as his first wife Pansy, brother Roger and seven grandchildren, Ottilie, Felix, Oscar, Alfie, Isabel, James, and Sienna.

"Outside of architecture, Michael was first and foremost a family man who loved nothing more than being surrounded by his wife and children, to whom he devoted so much love and time," said Squire's family in a statement.

"He also enjoyed sailing on the Solent and was an avid Chelsea fan. His youthful energy, love of life and mischievous humour will be hugely missed by all that knew him."

In 2022 the practice transformed a Victorian Warehouse into an office for design firm Modus Workspace. It also collaborated with SAWA to build a community agriculture school in Cambodia.

The portrait is by Gareth Gardner.