Vale Denis (John) Allen, 1926-2022

It is with great sadness that Allen Jack+Cottier Architects marks the passing of one of its practice founders, John Allen.

Aged 95, John passed away peacefully in the early hours of Monday, 11 July 2022, at Pathways Killara Gardens. John is survived by his two sons, James and Hugh, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Our heartfelt thanks and condolences go to his family.

John was the bedrock of our practice, which became known in 1965 as Allen Jack + Cottier, with the partnership of John, Russell Jack and Keith Cottier. From humble beginnings to a powerhouse practice, the work of AJ+C over seven decades has helped shape and modernise Sydney in both subtle and profound ways. John was fundamental to that legacy, which inspires us still today.

“Even through his years in retirement, John loved connecting with the profession and the practice that he built. Right up until the Covid lockdowns of 2020, John would visit our studio once or twice each year, stopping at every desk to have a chat and review major projects we were working on. On one of those visits, we shared a particularly poignant moment when I introduced John as the first staff member of AJ+C to our newest, youngest staff member (roughly the 1,500th person to be employed by the firm). That regular contact was very important to him.” —Michael Heenan, CEO, Principal, Design

A service for John’s life will be held on Friday 15 July at Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium at 3pm.