One of the few architects who designed from an early beginning towards climate change and has worked for over 60 years towards sustainable growth. Coming from a background of medicine and artistry, Cullinan is known to have shown interest from quite a young age towards art and natural healing. His approach always was considered a methodical and pragmatic approach, finding the needs of knitting architecture through sustainability, ecology, and the balance of social responsiveness.

Cullinan- One of The Early Proponent and Master of Sustainability and Social Awareness 

His status of becoming one of the most influential British architects never let him sway from his early unhinged motive of spreading awareness of ecology and steps to sustainability. The number of awards he was felicitated never bothered his intention of building eco-friendly buildings.

A pioneer to the fraternity, he has widely marked his presence because of his incredible contribution to the welfare of architects and society. RIBA president Alan Jones had only praises for him, “A radical thinker who was way ahead of time and always pursued environmental issues first. I am glad that he was presented with UK architecture’s highest accolade, the Royal Gold Medal.” (McManus, 2020)

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Image Source: Medalla de Oro del RIBA 2008 |

He was born to an artist mother and a doctor father; despite the varied family field he hails from he was selected as a student in The Architecture Association and then later moved to the University of California, Berkeley. He practiced a while with esteemed Denys Lasdun before moving on to open his practice. Cullinan was never known for a particular style, he instead set a seam towards the global effects that would befall on the environment and grounded the design to the eclecticism of the site and its context. 

His ability to perceive and forge new ideas were rather all about being intuitive and rarely anything less than plainly being emotionally literate. This was a possibility due to his long offset career. His popularity escalated with the methods of being intuitive and concerned about the site related to the design. The house in Camden in which he imbursed his entire living was built by him and his wife which was the textbook definition of intuitive design, inspirational infill development, and most importantly energy conservation effective passive solar house.

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Camden House By Edward and Roz Cullinan

Image Courtesy Cullinan Studio

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Over four decades in the architecture fraternity, Cullinan was celebrated for his eccentric approach towards the awareness of the natural environment and the deep-rooted engagement that we experience while embracing any living habitable space. Some of his works are just an extension of this idea and stand firm with this ideology. The Downland Gridshell is an impulsive design that is a pragmatic yet poetic architectural state of the art that wields an organic emotion for a cathedral.  

A tribute to the likeliness of Sussex Dell is formed by a curving grid of oak laths cladded in red cedar shingles and lit above by a polycarbonate clerestory; a new twist on a classic cathedral. The building is an innate place that acts as a workshop for conservation and training in being the preservation of historic timber-framed buildings, sustaining low energy, and just plainly as an enchanting design highlighting engineering, craft, and art. His works have included such projects that are pivotal in highlighting and speaking out on engineering and raw architecture.

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Inside of The Cathedral at West Sussex.

Image Courtesy Steve Speller/Alamy

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The Centre of Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge was a movement of his further works. It is a campus that reveals the enigmatic pavilions within a fantasy setting that is a visual to behold. These are a few of his exemplary methodology which he sustained throughout his career. Each project shapes a sense of social awareness and allows users to unfold the fantasy of an ecological center environment. 

The Essence bought by Edward Cullinan Style is Invigorating and Eco-centric Features in Raw Design.

The designs spoken by Cullinan are an outlay of various fecund collaborations with other designers and a generation of talented colleagues in his architecture studio. Product of his manifestation, his buildings are the result of his open mind approach and his consideration to what exactly would be compatible with the context. Hidden in his subtle plans and designs hides a certain layer of romanticism and workmanship that commends the Art and Skill.

Beyond practicing his skill as a working member in the architecture fraternity he was an exemplary professor. His career extended to teaching and sharing his insightful ideas with the budding patrons of architecture. A mellow and down-to-earth person, Ted was often praised by his colleagues and teammates for his grounded nature and his ever-strong views about being and contributing to society for its betterment. 

The design crew in the Cullinan Studio stated that Ted had been designing for climate change for more than 60 years with only a holistic vision for the profession and always described his work as a social activity more than for its glory. Edward believed in keeping his legacy not by the fame or recognition, but by the sands of time through his buildings and the places he had transformed. But most importantly he inspired to be a model for the younger generations by teaching and inspiring people throughout his life. His biggest achievements were to inspire and motivate people to be aware of their environment and to be insightful towards the needs of society.

Despite his works may have been known perceptually to be a part of the Arts and Craft Movement it didn’t stray away from serious intellectual concerns. His biggest strength was the ability to compel people about architecture, as he described and sketched at the same time it was quite a compelling spectacle that captured attention. This method reaches the apogee when the latent narrative becomes the context for his design roots, some that are even inclusive of his visitors’ centers in evocative areas like the Fountain Abbey or the sadly uncompleted proposal for Stonehenge.

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The Fountain Abbey Visitor’s Centre

Image Courtesy Cullinan Studio

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His philosophy was truly his biggest forte which established and merited him in a compelling way different from other architects and aided his win of the Royal Gold Medal in 2003. His contribution towards British architecture and his foundation of early eco-awareness is still a major asset for his design dictionary. Sadly, the demise of this leading architect was a hit to the fraternity and his works now guide the rest to manifest a sustainable design-oriented community.

A generous, charismatic, and passionate man once wrote that his purpose was to create art of architecture in the service and contribution of our shared humanity. (Heathcote, 2019)


  1. David McManus (2019). Edward Cullinan Architects. [online]. (Last updated: October 3, 2020). Available at: [Accessed date: 16/04/2021].
  2. Edwin Heathcote (2019). Edward Cullinan, pioneer of eco-architecture, 1931-2019. [online]. (Last updated: November 15, 2019). Available at: [Accessed date: 17/04/2021].

VismithaYaji is an aspiring designer and a writer who is currently working in the field of Architecture & Design. She has recently decided to put her passion for writing on the front stage and has been contributing to many on-going competitions and anthologies. Being an ardent fan of motivational quotes, poetry, and designing, she is often seen questioning the current trends in a divergent and unique fashion.She enjoys a philosophical approach to life and is keen on learning and developing new skills. Being a person who has traveled and has often shifted from place to place, she has been able to explore and appreciate various cultures and lifestyles. She enjoys traveling, sketching,anything related to music or movies, and once in a while the rare opportunities of photography. Her approach towards writing is inspired by life and its unexpected turn of events. Most of her works in any field, whichever it may be reflects these ideologies and beliefs. She pushes herself to discover newer approaches in the field of design and create modernistic conclusions.

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