June 16, 2017 Professor William Shell Remembered

Prof. Bill Shell at the college’s 50th anniversary, April 2016.

The College of Architecture and Design extends condolences to friends, family and alumni on the death of Professor William “Bill” Shell. Professor Shell passed away on June 12.

Shell served the college for 41 years and taught thousands of students. He retired in 2010, and in commemoration of that event, the college reported, “Shell’s many gifts—his intelligence, his challenging coursework, his dedication to architectural education, his wealth of stories and his dry wit—will be greatly missed by students, faculty and alumni alike.”

Shell was known for his dedication to the fundamental clarity and the craft of architecture as a professional discipline. He is remembered as an instructor with uncommon capability who demanded the highest quality from his students.

Many remember that, upon retirement, Shell planned to complete his dream home, and serving as designer, contractor and project manager, he succeeded in 2013. The home is inspired by his time working with Mies van der Rohe in the 1960s and reflects pure principles of architecture, including crisp details, uncompromised organization, minimal and transparent materials and precision of construction.

An open house has been scheduled for alumni to gather to see the home and share memories:  Sept. 24, 2-6 p.m., 2404 Trillium Lane, Knoxville 37920.  Parking is very limited, so alumni are asked to park in the street or to carpool.

Known as a private man, Shell requested no public commemoration of his life nor funeral services. The college is respecting his wishes but believed this simple but no less heartfelt message to alumni and friends was in order.

Those wishing to remember Shell through a gift are asked to donate to an organization of their choice that is important to architecture and design.


Professor Bill Shell’s Home