In memoriam: Austin Kelly, AIA, 1966-2015
George Lafayette Austin Kelly III, known as Austin, passed away on April 12, 2015, in Los Angeles, California after a brief illness. The cause of death was cancer. He was 49 years old. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Austin Kelly was a graduate of the Taft School and Williams College, and received his Master of Architecture degree from Yale University.
After working for several years in the design offices of Frank Israel, Frank Gehry, Eric Owen Moss, and DMJM/Keating, he and his design partner Monika Haefelfinger founded their firm, XTEN Architecture in 2000. In its fifteen years under Austin's and Monika's direction, XTEN Architecture has become known for buildings of striking beauty, deeply integrated into their natural setting, that have won numerous national and international awards and have been published in books and exhibited in museums around the world.
Among the best known projects are the Openhouse, Madisonhouse and Nakahouse, which Architectural Record (cover, 2012) chose as one of only nine " Record Houses of the Year" selected internationally for advancing the discipline of architecture and which was included in the New Sculpturalism exhibition at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (2013).
Austin is also remembered for his extraordinarily generous, kind nature and his mentorship of young architects, both within their firm and in the design studios he taught at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and the University of Southern California. Architectural design was his life's passion, surpassed only by his love for and dedication to his wife and children. He was also a voracious reader; a lover of art, music and soccer; and a caring and loyal friend.
He is survived by his wife Monika; his children, Prescott and Nita; his parents, Prescott Kelly and Judith Paine McBrien; his stepparents, Pamela Kelly and Vincent McBrien; his sister Samantha Kelly and her family and his stepbrothers, Matthew Raffety and Andrew McBrien and their families. A Memorial Service will take place on Saturday, May 16th at 1PM at All Saints Church, 504 North Camden Drive, Beverly Hills, CA. In lieu of flowers, tax deductible donations may be made to: MD Anderson/Dr. Miland Javle Research in memory of Austin Kelly, P.O. Box 4486, Houston, TX 77210-4486.
Link to a 2009 interview with Austin about his work and philosophy
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