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Isi Metzstein passes away

January 10 2012

Isi Metzstein passes away
Isi Metzstein, former Gillespie Kidd and Coia partner and founder of The Rubble Club, has passed away.

Metzstein, born in Berlin in 1928, relocated to Scotland at the age of 11, joining architects Gillespie Kidd and Coia which he ultimately went on to co-run alongside his colleague Andy MacMillan.

Speaking to Urban Realm MacMillan said: ”He was my best pal, a master of the one liners and always good for giving you a hard time.

“I knew it would come sooner or later because he’s not been well for a while but it’s very sad. I think a lot of students and ex-students will turn up, I hear the Art School are going to do something next week.

“We were both young architects who made our way and we had a number of people who were students along with us and we always used to meet on a Wednesday night to discuss architecture.

“Later on I became head of the Macintosh School and a few years later Isi became head of the Edinburgh School of architecture. We both believe our biggest legacy is the young architects all round Scotland, (by young architect I mean 40 at least!) who are making their way and I think the standard of Scottish architecture has been rising steadily in the last few years. In a modest sort of way we feel we had a hand in that through the people we taught.”

GSA director Seona Reid said: "'Gillespie Kidd and Coia's work under the visionary leadership of Isi Metzstein and Andy MacMillan represents one of the most significant and influential contributions to post war British architecture.

It is not, however, just through the remarkable physical legacy that Isi’s reputation will live on, but through the generations of architectural students whom  he inspired.”

Metzstein’s passing is regarded as the end of an era as MacMillan explained: “Along with Morris & Steadman of Edinburgh we were among the first modern architects in Scotland after the war. We belong to that brutalist generation of Smithson and Sandy Wilson who’ve all been dying off recently.”


Andrew Brown
#1 Posted by Andrew Brown on 10 Jan 2012 at 16:41 PM
Miss you Isi!
jason brown - abbozzo
#2 Posted by jason brown - abbozzo on 10 Jan 2012 at 17:43 PM
an awesome critic ................. feared and revered.
Mac 1995-2002
#3 Posted by Mac 1995-2002 on 11 Jan 2012 at 10:06 AM
Isi was inspirational. I feel priviledged to have been critted by the great man - his words meant more than any other. RIP
Walt Disney
#4 Posted by Walt Disney on 11 Jan 2012 at 12:46 PM
I loved Isi's lectures and his dry humour. I remember the develish look in his eye when he remarked how difficult it would be to demolish St Peter's due to the cantilevers! He was a great man and I guess many of us students never really appreciated him at the time but we are indebted to him, and his like, nonetheless.
Vladimir Andrew Traub
#5 Posted by Vladimir Andrew Traub on 11 Jan 2012 at 13:14 PM
Thank you for the time I spent in G,K&C.
Indeed, thank you for my life in architecture.
Auntie Nairn
#6 Posted by Auntie Nairn on 11 Jan 2012 at 13:22 PM
The Mac wouldn't have been the same without Isi. It was a privilege to have him as a tutor, and enormous fun.
Gordon Young
#7 Posted by Gordon Young on 12 Jan 2012 at 20:20 PM
I cannot believe he is gone, he always give the impression he'd be around for ever, and in some senses his influence was such he will. I really appreciated his help, support, wisdom and humour in all the years I was involved with Prospect and Urban Realm. Thanks Isi. Rest in Peace.

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