J. Barry Bell

BES, BArch, MPhil, PhD, OAA (ret), RAIC

Scholar, Professor, Architect, Archaeological researcher, Writer, Photographer

November 15, 1959 - May 8, 2007

Barry died peacefully on Tuesday, May 8, 2007, after sustaining head injuries at his home on May 3.

Barry will be sadly missed by the many whose life he touched: his spirit and friendship will endure.

Barry will be dearly missed by his beloved wife Sulasa Bell whom he married on March 11, 2005, at Phitsanulok, Thailand. His memory will be cherished by Sa’s parents, Dang and Samran Thananonglak, their family and the Thai community that has fondly embraced him.

Born in Ottawa on November 15, 1959, to Mrs. Catherine Patricia Bell (nee Kelly) and Dr. David Nelson Bell, Barry is survived by his sisters Elaine and Karen, brother-in-law Mike Cochrane, brother Brian, and sister-in-law Carla Flamer, nieces Rebecca and Katie, and nephew Colin, his many relatives, friends and the architectural community in Canada and abroad.

Barry was an enlightened man and humanitarian, whose interests blurred the distinctions between architectural theory and practice. Upon receiving his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Waterloo in 1983, he continued his architectural internship in the offices of the Ron Thom in Toronto, Peter Rose in Montreal, and Murray and Murray in Ottawa. His explorations of narrative structures within architecture led him to Cambridge University, England where he completed his MPhil in 1988. He taught at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture’s Rome program. Barry was a professor of architecture at Carleton University from 1988 to 1994 where he taught theory and studio, directed the study abroad programme twice in Rome, and in Spain and Thailand. His intellectual energies influenced many students and academic colleagues. Barry became a member of the Ontario Association of Architects in 1991.

Constantly redefining himself both personally and professionally, Barry became a practicing architect in 2000, working with Dermot J. Sweeny Architects in Toronto. He made a positive contribution to award winning projects during this time. He lectured regularly on the Middle Ages at the University of Waterloo.

Over the past few years Barry has served as a popular guest critic, lecturer and associate professor at Dalhousie University, University of Waterloo, University of Toronto, Ryerson University, and as a guest critic in the professional Masters program at the McGill School of Architecture.

“Bangkok: Angelic Visions” was published in 2003, the product of his interest, travels and research into the physical, symbolic and perceptual order and understanding of cities.

For his doctorate in Architecture, these themes were focused directly on the Wat Phra Chetuphon temple within Bangkok. He received his PhD in Architecture from McGill University School of Architecture in April 2007.

Lest one imagine that Barry was solely an academic, interests in fiction, rowing, rock climbing, hiking, cycle touring, travel, photography and an appreciation beauty all of which balanced his life. He set a stellar example of a trait he most admired in others: being a fun person with whom to socialize with.

Visitation was at the Humphrey Funeral Home, 1403 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Thursday, May 9th, 7 – 9 pm and Friday, May 10th, 2 – 4 pm and 7 – 9 pm. A funeral service was held in the chapel at Humphrey Funeral Home on Saturday, May 11th at 4 pm.

Barry's diploma was received by his wife Sulasa at the Convocation ceremony of the Faculty of Engineering at McGill University on Tuesday, May 29, 2007.

An award in Barry’s honour, recognizing his commitment to Canadian architectural students pursuing advanced architectural study, has been established through the University of Waterloo School of Architecture. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Barry Bell Scholarship for Advanced Architectural Studies will be thankfully accepted online at www.uwaterloo.ca, Office of Development page, or by cheque to:

University of Waterloo
Office of Development
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1