Forme UK Design and Architecture has very sadly announced the passing of designer Glenn Vaus, one of the original founding partners of the practice. At the time of his sudden death at the age of 53, he was engaged on major West End refurbishment projects and had recently completed a global research facility project.
Glenn was widely respected within the design community and by his clients and often remarked that he was incredibly fortunate to be able to pursue a design career that was his hobby. Indeed, he never switched off as a passionate designer. He was supremely proud of helping, together with his partners, to build Forme UK Design and Architecture into a thriving, award winning company, recognised within the industry for its excellence.
Whether travelling around the world on holiday or for work, exploring favourite cities such as New York or enjoying shopping and going out in London, he always took inspiration from everything and everyone around him. He loved fashion and was known for his passion for a designer label and trendy trainers.
Food, and in particular watching cooking shows and experimenting with all flavours of homemade ice cream, was also a great pastime of his. In keeping with his love for entertaining and design, he most recently helped to design and organise his daughter’s 18th birthday celebrations, with LED lights that turned the exterior of the white family house bright pink.
His character, quiet determination and principled beliefs carried him through to achieve what he did throughout his life and he was hugely influenced by his roots in London’s East End.
Glenn began life in Bacton Towers, a social housing block designed by YRM who, some 21 years later, coincidentally, became Glenn’s employer in one of his first interior design jobs after leaving university. He spoke about how lucky he was to have spent his childhood enjoying the surroundings of places and spaces that were to become recognised as designer masterpieces. Family and friends lived in Berthold Lubetkin social housing; he swam in York Hall; he visited Old Spitalfields Market when it was a working market and he cycled across what would become the Olympic Park.
“Glenn’s spirit is an indelible part of Forme UK and it will never be lost. We are so pleased that Linzi has found the strength and determination to drive the firm forward, as Glenn would have wished”
Glenn had never wanted to be anything other than a designer. Having shown talent and enthusiasm for art while at secondary school, he went on to study for a diploma in art and design at East Ham College, where he was to meet his wife, fellow designer, Linzi Coppick. After completing his BA (Hons) in Interior Architecture at Middlesex University, he joined Fitzroy Robinson. He then spent several years at YRM Interiors working with David Skeels as first a junior and then senior designer.
The opportunity to be involved in the restoration and extensive refurbishment of The Michelin Building on Fulham Road in Chelsea and the UK Expo 92 in Seville, foretold what would further drive Glenn’s passion for design. Glenn then went on to Sheppard Robson where he helped David Skeels to develop the practice’s interiors division.
Glenn joined as a practice partner when David established Forme UK Design and Architecture in 2001, together with Mark Twigg and Franco Greco – and all four have been responsible for Forme UK’s continuing success.
As Creative Director at Forme UK, Glenn worked with the world’s leading companies in the corporate, hotel and healthcare arenas. With every project he set out to deliver the highest standards of design quality and to make a real difference with the environment he created. Nowhere was this more apparent than with his work for public sector projects, where he wanted to improve the surroundings for occupiers with inspiring environments.
Those who worked with him remember how he was always the gentleman who was able to accomplish results through gentle persuasion. Glenn was always valued for his frank and sincere guidance and advice and for the way in which he was able to talk to everyone. He formed longstanding partnerships with many clients, which developed into friendships. He was also a champion of junior designers, acting as a mentor to students who gained valuable experience with Forme UK.
He was very much a family man, dedicated to his wife, Linzi, and treasured daughter, Yasmin. His family has set up a Just Giving page in his memory at justgiving.com/fundraising/Glenn-Vaus.
The four partners of Forme UK were not only business partners but also great friends from their days as young professionals. ‘We have lost a good man but we are determined to carry on his legacy,’ says Franco Greco.
‘Glenn’s spirit is an indelible part of Forme UK and it will never be lost. We are so pleased that Linzi has found the strength and determination to drive the firm forward, as Glenn would have wished,’ says David Skeels.
Mark Twigg, who was also part of that team at Sheppard Robson, added: ‘Together we had a blast of a time on projects all over the world. It was the three of us that secured the massive RBS project for SR before we all left – and we had a whale of a time implementing it with Mr Goodwin. If only we had known how things were to turn out – or maybe we did!’.
‘Although I’d never worked with Glenn I had known him for probably 30 years as a very good friend of very good friends of mine,’ BDP’s Mark Simpson tells us. ‘He was a great guy, who was well liked in the industry and well loved by his family, colleagues and friends – a lovely, gentle man and a sad loss.’