John Bernard Howard Osbourn ARIBA AA Dipl.
John Osbourn’s name appears amongst those Obituaries listed in the February issue of the RIBA Journal.
By nature a very modest person, he was outstanding for the contribution he made to architectural education and for his life long dedication to the protection and enhancement of the environment that we have inherited. Whilst remaining true to the principles of the Modern Movement he had an abiding passion for traditional English, Art, Architecture, and Landscape Design.
After serving his time as an articled student he came up to London and completed the Diploma Year at the AA before working with Derek Stow on the Miller Hospital and the Woodlands Nurses Home. Both projects were part the overall development of the new Greenwich Hospital.
Having found that his true vocation lay in the complimentary fields of Architectural Research and Education, in 1966 he decided to cross the river and join Raymond Moss, firstly at Southend School of Architecture then subsequently moving to the Northern Polytechnic to become one of the two founding members of MARU. When he was appointed to set up and run a Course for Part-time Students, with whom he had a natural affinity he entered the happiest and most rewarding period of his career. The Course was a great success in terms of the professionalism that the Graduates acquired and John excelled in the pastoral care of his students.
Living, working and teaching in North London he felt at home and was able to participate in the activities of the vibrant local architectural community of which he had become a member. However the halcyon days came to an end when the School of Architecture was absorbed into what is now known as London Metropolitan University and the Part-time Course closed.
John decided to return to his roots, to move back to Canterbury, which still had a School of Architecture that was independent, and to buy a small house close to the Cathedral. Once established in his new home he devoted his time to supporting the School, various Conservation bodies, The Environment Forum, and similar enterprises.
John Osbourn, who never married, will be sadly missed by all who knew him, friends and colleagues alike.
Derek Stow / Raymond Moss