Vale Noel Bell 1925 – 2017
Noel Bell, one half of the founding partners of NBRSARCHITECTURE passed away on 12 September 2017. Noel, born in Namibia, was 91. He studied architecture at The University of Natal South Africa and arrived in Australia in 1955 with his wife Barbara. Noel’s early architecture experience was with the Commonwealth Dept. of Works in Canberra, then Stephenson & Turner in Sydney, before joining the partnership of Heely Bell and Horne Architects in 1964.
In July 1968 Noel invited Ridley Smith to form a partnership and now almost 50 years later that architectural practice has sustained and grown from the strong foundation of friendship between two young architects.
Noel led the early years of NBRS with a design focus resulting in many awarded buildings and establishing a value based approach which is still part of the practice today. Many of these awarded buildings stand today as a timeless reminder of Noel’s design clarity and purposeful resolution:
St John Village Glebe, Sulman Award
St Andrews House Sydney. RAIA Merit Award
Sydney Square RAIA Merit Award
Grosefield Medical Centre Parramatta. RAIA Merit Award
Noel retired from architecture in 1982 to put more time into a nationwide prayer movement called intercessors for Australia.
Throughout his retirement, Noel remained interested and connected with the practice and we remain indebted that he established the office on a value basis always with a deep care for people. NBRS continues as a people focused practice with the desire to impact on people’s lives.