Our dear friend and invaluable collaborator Bill Dennis passed away on Thursday, August 9, 2018 after a short, fierce battle with brain cancer. We miss him very much and will always value his friendship, intelligence, keen insights, irreverant rants, and enormous contributions to our firm's work.
Bill was an architect and urban designer who contributed to the design of many of the most significant New Urbanist projects of the past 25 years. He maintained his own firm – B. Dennis Town & Building Design in Providence, Rhode Island – and was affiliated with Sargent Town Planning, serving as lead designer for selected projects.
Working on his own and collaborating with urban planning firms around the country, Bill designed hundreds of sustainable, walkable neighborhoods, villages and towns, and led charrette teams in New England, California, the Southwest, and China. For each project Bill he applied the timeless principles of place making and traditional neighborhood design to new communities of all types, to the revitalization of struggling downtowns, to transformation plans for outmoded transportation corridors and employment centers, and to strategies for neighborhoods in transition. His work was always based on his certainty that the design of a town or neighborhood can enrich all of the patterns that encompass our lives, integrating places of work, shopping, civic participation, recreation and home. Bill’s architectural design portfolio includes all housing types, mixed-use retail, and civic buildings.
Bill won numerous awards for his planning and architecture work. He was a founding member of the Congress for the New Urbanism and his work has been recognized with several CNU awards. He was a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops on urbanism and sustainable development, taught at the Boston Architecture Center, and was a Guest Critic at Harvard University, Roger Williams College, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Bill was the principal designer for our University Neighborhood Specific Plan in Palm Desert, the code for which was recognized by the Form-Based Codes Institute with the 2017 Driehaus Award for achievement in the writing and implementation of Form-Based Codes.