AN acclaimed city architect and rugby fan has died at the age of 47.
Anthony Rochmankowski, from Portobello, known as Rocky, leaves behind his wife Jackie and daughters Daisy, Molly and Sally.
At the time of his death, Rocky had been thinking of writing a book: the Rugby Player’s Guide to Raising Daughters. He found this to be a subject close to his heart. He was devoted to them, whether it was enthusiastically dishing out unwanted advice from the hockey pitch sidelines or arranging his business pattern so he could work from home.
The choice of subtitle for his proposed handbook much summed up the family man: Strong But Tender.
Professionally, he was a perfectionist. An architect with a wide spectrum of experience and a passion for creating spaces infused with lightness and clarity.
Born in Reading to a Greek mother, Chrisoula, and Polish father, Janusz, a former prisoner of war, his interest in architecture was sparked by the gift of some drawing instruments, and encouraged at school where he won a scholarship to Bryanston boarding school in Dorset.
His father died when he was three, and his mother supported her son and Rocky’s elder brother, Andrew, through sewing and cleaning jobs.
Aged 16, he followed Andrew to Bryanston. Both boys excelled on the rugby pitch and played together for Henley first team.
In 1984, inspired by those drawing materials as well as films, books and science fiction, Rocky came to study architecture at Edinburgh University, where he turned out for the first XV and for the Scottish Universities rugby team.
It was at Edinburgh that he met Jackie. He graduated with an MA, followed by a diploma, in architecture.
His first professional post, in 1989, was as an architectural assistant with Hives Partnership in Reading, working on a project for Reading University.
He went on to take up a similar post at Campbell and Arnott in Edinburgh, where his first project was working on the Saltire Court office block in Castle Terrace.
Having amassed a wide range of experience in the industry, he decided to set up his own general practice, Rochmankowski Associates, specialising in domestic, residential and green oak architecture in 2001.
His own Portobello property became the practice’s prototype style, featuring large glazed panels and unseasoned timber.
His home was also a marketing tool, open to clients, to illustrate his vision and skills.
Latterly, the firm had rebranded to become Rochmankowski Architecture Design, or RAD, and had been working for clients throughout the Central Belt, including Edinburgh Leisure.