Tributes paid after Spinnaker Tower designer Hedley Greentree dies aged 77

The late Hedley Greentree
The late Hedley Greentree

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TRIBUTES have been paid to an architect who helped shape Gunwharf Quays and Port Solent.

Hedley Greentree has died aged 77. His firm was behind the design of the Spinnaker Tower and the Sails of the South.

The Spinnaker Tower Picture: Terence Porter

The Spinnaker Tower Picture: Terence Porter

Mr Greentree, who lived in Lee-on-the-Solent, married his wife Jenny on January 10, 1976. She said: ‘Hedley lost both of his parents when he was quite young and this in turn made his own family the biggest priority in his life.

‘When he was given new instructions for a scheme, this was when Hedley was at his best, his creativity coming to the fore. Nothing was impossible with Hedley, all things were possible.’

Mr Greentree was born in Portsmouth and went to St John’s College, before graduating with a diploma in architecture from Portsmouth College of Technology in July 1966.

He set up a business in Clarendon Road, Southsea, before partnering with Peter Allchurch and becoming HGP Architects. They had offices in High Street, Cosham, before moving to Furzehall Farm, Wickham Road, Fareham, where the business remains today.

The Sails of the South

The Sails of the South

Mr Allchurch said: ‘Hedley was a quiet relatively unassuming man but with enormous drive, a design flair and never failing optimism. Over a period of some 50 years, Hedley saw his small practice grow to a major organisation employing at one time over 120 people and responsible for significant design work throughout the UK and Middle East, but locally he will be best remembered for Port Solent, Gunwharf Quays and the Spinnaker Tower, Solent Business Park and The Solent Hotel.’

Cllr Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, paid tribute to Mr Greentree. She said: ‘It is very sad that such a notable local figure has passed away, but he leaves a lasting legacy.

‘The Spinnaker Tower is an iconic building, symbolising Portsmouth and the south coast, and he was responsible for many other significant buildings.’

Syd Rapson, former councillor and MP who worked with Mr Greentree to design Gunwharf Quays, said: ‘He was a significant figure and his vision changed the image of Portsmouth for many generations to come.’

Mr Greentree was a regular member of the congregation at St Faith’s Church until he became ill four years ago.

He suffered from Crohn’s disease and kidney problems, before being diagnosed with myelofibrosis – a bone marrow disorder. He died at Queen Alexandra Hospital after a three-week stay.

Mr Greentree, who died on on December 23, leaves four sons – Richard, Benjamin, Thomas and Joseph – and two grandsons, Ruben, 13, and Alex, nine.

His funeral will be held at St Faith’s Church in Lee-on-the-Solent on Wednesday, January 11 at 1pm. Donations may be given to Cancer Research UK online at justgiving.com/fundraising/hedleygreentree