It is with great sadness that we inform the membership of the passing of Brian Snowden. We share an abridged version of the biography written by John Schenk LFRAIA. The full version can be found on the UniSA Architecture Museum website.
Brian Snowden was born in 1934, the son of Master Builder Frederick Lester Snowden and Alice Snowden (nee Newton), at Lower Mitcham. He attended Unley High School and the University of Adelaide, commencing the Bachelor of Engineering (Architecture) Degree as a full time student for three years, changing to part time whilst gaining practical experience in the office of Hassell and McConnell. He completed his final year full time in 1960, with top distinction for his thesis. He graduated in 1961 and almost simultaneously was registered with the Architects Board and elected an associate of the RAIA. He married Janice (Jan) Amanda Bates at St Peter’s Church Glenelg on 22 December 1956 and they had two children, Amanda and Mark, both of whom studied architecture as did their granddaughter, Sophie Wilksch.
Upon graduating he worked for Hassell and McConnell on the documentation for the new campus of Adelaide University at Bedford Park (now Flinders) before heading off to Europe with his family. In England he was employed in the office of Sir Basil Spence and Partners, again working on a new University – Sussex, the first of the new wave of “Utopian” universities to be built in Britain after the Second World War. Returning to Adelaide and Hassell McConnell and Partners, he was again working on Flinders University, now as project architect for stage 1 until its completion in 1966.
He commenced his own practice in a rented room at 82 Greenhill Rd. Unley, and with good connections through Snowden Bros. Builders and sailing club interests, he had enough work to keep him busy day and night. This was mostly one-off houses. Two shopping centres for builder and developer, Alan Hickinbotham, expanded his portfolio and more commercial work followed.
The “Martens and Marshall” split level houses with their natural materials and controlled proportions by Snowden & Pikusa Architects provided a steady income stream for the next decade. They were marketed very successfully, with television personality and fashion model Maggie Tabberer retained to oversee the interior décor of the “Hillside 3” split level design at Bens Place in Blackwood. This followed the 1970 “Telethon” house and led to more display homes at West Lakes and Wattle Park. Overall, 600 houses were documented with nearly 500 completed. By the mid 1970’s the practice was well established and became increasingly involved in commercial and retail projects.
In 2017 he was made a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects having “practised as an architect for over 50 years (including 40 years as a Practice Director) and in that time (having) rendered notable contribution to the advancement of the profession
This post is authorised by Brian’s daughter Amanda.