PAUL M. SKINNER Architect
We mourn the loss on September 22, 2021 of Paul Skinner, who died peacefully in London Ontario, at the age of 80. He was the beloved husband of Patricia Ann (née Rae) Skinner, his wife of 60 years; the dear father to Robert (Michele), Bradley (Leslie), and Suzette; the loving grandfather of Christopher and Paul; the loving great grandfather to Faline; and the dear brother of the late Donald Skinner and the late June Corbett.
Born October 3, 1940 in Port Credit, Ontario to Milton Skinner and Mary (née Fry) Skinner, Paul was raised in a practical manner, the third generation of builders. His earliest passions included designing and building water skis and motorboats for the Port Credit River and summers in Lake Rosseau. Paul graduated from the University of Toronto School of Architecture in 1965. He embraced experimentation and modernism in Canadian architecture. His sculptural forms and interest in new materials lead to transformative buildings. Starting out in Toronto with Parkin Architect and Clifford & Lawrie Architects, Paul worked on the design team for the Manulife Centre, before moving to London in 1969 to supervise construction of the CNR train station.
Through four decades, Paul’s work had a profound effect on the built environment in Southwestern Ontario. He partnered with David Stevens to design the London Courthouse, and founded Paul M. Skinner Architect in 1974, to design London City Centre tri-tower complex. Paul’s design for Western University’s, Thompson Arena showcased Canada’s first cable hung suspension roof. Other large commissions include 3M Headquarters and Victoria Hospital. In addition to his prodigious architectural output Paul ventured into development. He designed and built commercial buildings and award-winning residential areas noted for their crystal-like forms of sloping glass, natural materials and connection to nature. His custom houses dot the regional landscape, most notably along the Thames River, where he built his family homes.
Paul approached life with imagination and determination. He held a deep devotion to family. ‘Summerplace’, the Lake Huron cottage named after the film Paul and Patricia saw on their first date, and their winter get-away overlooking Sarasota Bay, served as hubs for family sports and social activities. Paul was the life of the party. He loved nature and was rarely without a dog or two by his side. He remained positive, even through an extended illness. He will be deeply missed.
A private funeral service for family will be held at Harris Funeral Home, London on Friday, September 24th at 11:00am: to join virtually, please email the funeral home for a Zoom invitation, info@HarrisFuneralHome.ca
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the Alzheimer Society, Humane Society or charity of your choice, would be appreciated.
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