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    Vale Neil Clerehan

    Nicholas Rider

    At the age of 94, Australian architect and writer, Neil Clerehan, passed away on 10 November.

    Throughout his six-decade career, Clerehan – who established his own practice in 1949 – was known for his housing designs in post-war Melbourne.

    As the Australian Institute of Architects’ Victorian chapter president Vanessa Bird says “[Neil] will be remembered for his extraordinary six-decade career, the buildings he has left us, his wit and his passion, remaining an 'unreconstructed modernist'”.

    In addition to running his own practice, Clerehan also formed a number of partnerships throughout his career. These included one with Guildford Bell in 1962, and another with David Cran between 1980 and 1996.

    Among Clerehan’s works are the Fenner House and the Clerehan House II. The latter was the architect’s home until his death.

    Working with fellow architect, Robin Boyd, Clerehan established The Age’s Small Homes Service (SHS) in 1947, which provided home-builders with a large selection of house designs for £5 each. As part of the SHS, he wrote weekly articles for the newspaper, and was director of the service between 1954 and 1961. Clerehan and Boyd also published a book together in 1947, called Victorian Modern.

    In 1961, Clerehan put together and edited the book Best Australian Houses 1961 for the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.

    Clerehan was recognised many times throughout his career. These included being one of the first architects to be made a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects. He was also recognised with the Victorian Presidents Award for the Hall of Fame in 2004, and received a Doctor of Architecture from the University of Melbourne in 2008.

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