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Wyndham Westerdale obituary | Architecture

My friend Wyndham Westerdale, who has died aged 66 from complications arising from lung cancer, was an architect with a commitment to preserving and improving buildings of merit, regardless of their age or what purpose they served.

Among the projects he worked on were the repair and conversion of Hogarth’s House, the early 18th-century home of the artist William Hogarth, in Chiswick, west London; the dismantling and reconstruction of the old control tower at Hendon Aerodrome in Middlesex; and the preservation, adaptation and conversion of the Victorian-era Hertford Brewery in Hertford.

Wyndham was born in Nottingham to Royce Westerdale, a sailor in the Royal Navy, and his wife, Lois (nee Freeman). After secondary schooling, he took a degree in general architectural studies at the University of Bath (1974-78). This was followed by a year of work experience at the John Osborne architectural partnership in Birmingham and studies for a postgraduate diploma in architecture at Portsmouth Polytechnic (1979-81).

There was further study for a master’s degree in conservation at Manchester University (1981-83) before he finally plunged into architectural work at the London Borough of Newham (1983-87), the Inner London Education Authority (1987-89) and at Crampin & Pring Architects (1989-98).

After that he joined Acanthus Architects, where he became an associate in 2002 and a principal in 2004. When Acanthus merged in 2019 with Scott Brownrigg, where I am a director, he took on the role of technical director.

In his spare time Wyndham was involved with a number of bodies concerned with architectural history and conservation, including the Twentieth Century Society, the Georgian Group and the Vernacular Architecture Group.

Hogarth’s House in Chiswick, west London, which Wyndham Westerdale helped to repair
Hogarth’s House in Chiswick, west London, which Wyndham Westerdale helped to repair

He was a keen collector of books, a photographer of sites and buildings of architectural interest, a connoisseur of gin and a lover of ice-cream, especially when served with a Cointreau sauce.

Wyndham had grand plans for his retirement but they were not to be. He did, however, manage a final trip to the Hebridean island of Iona and a visit to Fingal’s Cave, on nearby Staffa, rucksack overladen with reference books and camera equipment, yomping steadfastly to his destinations. Though great fun, he was, in many ways, a private and solitary man.

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