• Forme UK

A tribute to Franco Greco

Forme UK Design and Architecture has announced the extremely sad news that Partner, Franco Greco, passed away on 23 December 2019 after a short illness. As one of the practice’s original Partners, and as Technical Director, he worked with world leading companies in the commercial, workplace, corporate, hospitality and leisure sectors.

Always the consummate interior design professional, Franco had a great eye for detail and delivered beautiful, timeless interiors.

He will be sorely missed, not only by those at Forme UK, but by the design community at large. Clients and colleagues valued Franco’s creativity and technical expertise highly. More than this, they loved his warm personality and outrageous sense of humour. Many of his longstanding partnerships with clients developed into friendships. Everyone who worked with him will have memories of his talents as a comedian and a mimic. He was able to adopt someone’s accent within minutes of meeting them. In the studio, his constant banter was like a radio station playing away in the background – an amusing buzz of impressions of a variety of farmyard animals and other creatures; the occasional rendition of Postman Pat in very poor French and conversations about impossible scenarios – too rude to describe in this tome!

There was also the famous ‘Robin Hood’ sketch, where Franco would pinch someone’s ruler and use it to make a sound effect of an arrow springing from an archer’s bow. As well as being able to disarm with jokes and suggestive looks, he had another skill up his sleeve: a competent Karate expert.

Fluent in Italian, his regular calls from his mother would always bring a laugh to the studio. After 20 minutes of full speed Italian, and having put the phone down, Franco would peer over his glasses cheekily and, with his immaculate comic timing, pause for a second or two and eventually say, ‘Wrong number’.

Born on 4 October 1959 in a little village, Roccagloriosa in Italy, Franco moved to Scunthorpe at the age of four. He grew up in this industrial town, spent time as a student working in the steelworks and met his wife, Shirley, there.

Mark Twigg, Managing Director of Forme UK Design and Architecture Limited, first met Franco and discovered his irrepressible character on his first day at Building Design Partnership, back in 1994. Four years later, both Franco and Mark left BDP to join Sheppard Robson, where they were to work alongside David Skeels and Glenn Vaus. Another four years passed and David asked Franco, Mark and Glenn if they would be interested in a new venture. Forme UK was established in November 2001, and a few months later Franco and Mark joined.

The close partnership and friendship extended beyond Forme UK. In 2017 Franco, David and Mark took on the restoration of a ruined farmhouse in the middle of the French countryside, where Franco showed off his skills as a craftsman. Working with David, Franco transformed the property, making everything for the interior themselves, including the kitchens, wardrobes, and skirting boards.

Franco always treasured his family and he leaves behind his wife Shirley and their sons Fabio and Jacamo.

This article was published in Mix Interiors Magazine, February 2020: https://www.mixinteriors.com/company/a-tribute-to-franco-greco/

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