1925 – 2020
Mitchell was born in London in 1925. He studied at Southern College of Art, Portsmouth and at the Royal College of Art. After designing furniture for Ernest Joyce, he set up William Mitchell Design Consultants and went on to produce sculptures in plastics, concrete, wood, marble, brick and fibre glass. Throughout his career, Mitchell has pioneered sculptural techniques which utilise new materials and technologies. In 1967, he showed three huge figures made from Thermalite concrete building blocks in an exhibition at the Engineering and Building centre in Birmingham.
He has worked on a range of buildings in New Towns, including Stevenage, Basildon, Hatfield and Cwmbran, producing his trademark abstract architectural features for schools and for residential and commercial developments. As a consultant to the London County Council in the 1960s, he designed adventure playgrounds and other sculptural features.
Working with Sir Frederick Gibberd, he designed the entrance and doors for the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King in Liverpool and produced the Stations of the Cross and entrance doors for Frederick Jennet at Clifton Cathedral, Bristol. His international projects include a series of artworks for various stations at BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) in San Francisco, a fountain feature in Honolulu and a series of works for schools in Hawaii. His carvings for the Egyptian escalator hall at Harrods, London are probably one of his best known recent commissions. A number of Mitchell’s architectural features have been given official ‘listed’ status. Mitchell lived and worked in London.
See Newsletter number 23 June 2015 Talk by Bill at Gibberd Gallery by Alastair Howe (Chair of HAT)
Concrete with pigmented epoxy and polyester resin
120 x 240 x 10 cm (each) Water Gardens, Town Centre
Owned by Harlow District Council The Water Gardens, designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd with Gerry Perrin of the Harlow Development Corporation, were opened in 1963. The gardens’ three parallel terraces incorporate canals, fountains and ponds. See Blue Plaque – Note levels of Car park now in view. Mitchell came to Harlow and gave a talk about his work in the summer of 2015. 2016 major contributor to Somerset House exhibition.