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In wartime London in 1942, when William Mullins decided on an architectural career, he enrolled at Regent Street Polytechnic and was fortunate in being able to join the Robert Atkinson architectural partnership as a junior. After three years he gained a scholarship to attend the Architectural Association school to complete his training full-time, and on graduation, gained an Honours Diploma.
After a short period at the Architectural Press in 1947, working for Gordon Cullen the Art Editor, he joined the Sheppard Robson practice as an architectural assistant. His early experience was in designing a variety of schools and colleges. Later, in around 1955, with the expansion of the universities, he designed Weeks Hall and Southside Halls of Residence for Imperial College, London, subsequently Grade II Listed.
In 1959, when the practice was invited to enter the competition for Churchill College, he was responsible for the office’s submission. Over the following few years developing the design turned into a full-time commitment, and on completion, the College was Grade II Listed.
In 1974, he designed the conversion of an old piano works for Sheppard Robson’s new offices when they moved to Camden Town. The offices received ‘Civic Trust’ and ‘Office of the Year’ awards. As the office expanded, William designed shopping centres, offices and housing and acted as consultant for a variety of projects in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and the Philippines. From 1988-91 he associated with Robert Venturi, the architect for the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery.
In 1960, William became a partner of Sheppard Robson and in 1970, a Fellow of the RIBA. He was at times a member of the AA Council, a member of the Council of the British Consultants’ Bureau and acted as an assessor for RIBA and Civic Trust Awards. He taught briefly at Washington University in St Louis. He wrote ‘Student Housing Briefing’ and a book entitled ‘Student Housing’ was published by Crosby Lockwood Ltd in 1971.
William retired in 1991 and became a consultant. He lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife Monica in a house they designed.