Tribute to Kevin Taylor from David Yencken

Kevin Taylor



Kevin Taylor came to work for Merchant Builders (a housing company that  Johnny Ridge and I had started) when he was a young man.


It was his first job.


He came with a strong personal recommendation from Wendy Sarkissian (then lecturing in Adelaide) who had taught him.


She has reminded me that so good was the thesis she sent me before we employed him that I asked her three times if she had helped to write it.


He more than lived up to her judgement of him.


He was a person of great flair and imagination and from the beginning had a rare ecological awareness. He was  always  interested in different ways of reaching out and working with those for whom projects and designs were being prepared.


His own personal qualities, his commitments, his warmth and friendliness and personal values illuminated his work.


I continued to have irregular contact with him over the years and am greatly saddened by his death.


To  Kate and  his family and to all those at Taylor Cullity Lethlean, I send my deepest condolences.




David Yencken, Melbourne


Email: [email protected]

Kevin Taylor: Tributes and Funeral

A great, humble and exceptionally beautiful man has died.


On Sunday morning, 7th August, Kevin Taylor, Principal of Taylor Cullity Lethlean, Landscape Architects, Designers and community consultation specialists, Adelaide and Melbourne, was killed instantly in a vehicle crash in Darwin.


He was 57.


His passing is mourned by many, many friends all over the world who valued his quiet brilliance, his talent and design skills, his compassion and his love for his friends, colleagues and family.


Kevin was one of the brightest students I ever had the blessing to teach.


As an undergraduate in architecture at what was then the S.A. Institute of Technology, in 1977 he produced a stunningly radical and perceptive final-year thesis on “Ecological Awareness and the Practice of Architecture”, co-supervised by me and Doug Swanson, with remote advice from environmental activist Strider of Humpty Doo.


As the submission deadline approached, Doug and I were terrified that he was too bright — and the thesis too radical — for the dusty academics at SAIT. They’d either fail him or give him the medal.


They gave him the medal and he went on to work in architecture with David Yencken at Merchant Builders in Melbourne, to teach at RMIT, to become a landscape architect, to found an award-winning firm, father two great children (now adults) — Emily and Danae — and to find in his second wife, artist Kate Cullity, a soulmate and partner in both his personal and professional life.


Those of us who knew him and love him are devastated by this tragic news.


We share our grief with Kate and her family, Emily and Danae, their mother, his brother, his sister, his step-brother, his extended family, his business partner, Perry Lethlean, many professional colleagues and numerous clients and all the staff of Taylor Cullity Lethlean in Adelaide and Melbourne who respected and loved him so dearly.


Tribute from the Planning Institute of Australia


For a beautiful tribute from the Planning Institute of Australia, go to:


Funeral   arrangements


Kevin’s funeral will be held on Thursday 18 August at 9:30 am for 10 am in Adelaide Town Hall,   128 King William Street.


For details, see:


Vale Kevin Taylor.


Kevin Taylor