David Marks, designer of the London Eye, dies aged 64

The architect, who also designed Brighton's i360, passed away on Friday morning following a long illness


David Marks, the Jewish architect best known for designing the London Eye with his wife Julia Barfield, has died aged 64.

Mr Marks, who also designed Brighton’s i360 and the Treetop Walkway at Kew Gardens, passed away at home on Friday morning following a long illness. The Architects’ Journal reported that he was suffering from cancer.

Born in Stockholm in 1952, he grew up in Geneva and moved to London in 1972 to attend the Architectural Association School (AA), where he met Ms Barfield. The pair married in 1981.

The couple formed their own practice in 1989.

They both received MBEs in 2000 after the completion of the London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel, on London’s South Bank.

In the same year Mr Marks was honoured with a special commendation for outstanding achievement in design by the Prince Philip Designers Prize.

Committed to maximising the social impact of their work, Mr Marks and Ms Barfield proposed granting one per cent of ticket sales to the local community in the London borough of Lambeth in perpetuity.

The wider work of Mark Barfield Architects included the University of Cambridge Primary School, art galleries, museums, commercial buildings and housing.

He spent his final days at home with his wife and children Benjamin, Maya and Sarah.

Speaking to the Sunday Times last year, he said: “Architects don’t stop, they just go on building things until they run out of breath.”

“Julia and I never get sick of each other. We’ve been married for 35 years and I can’t put into words how much I love her.”

Mr Marks’s funeral will take place at a private ceremony, with details of a memorial to be announced in due course.

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