Sir Denys Lasdun (1914-2001) was a British architect, who is best known for the Royal National Theatre on the South Bank in London. His designs are extremely striking; whether drawing praise by other architects or dismissal by the Prince of Wales, his works remain as difficult to ignore now as when they were created.

Lasdun was influenced by Cubism and Le Corbusier, and also by that other architect of London's mythos, Nicholas Hawksmoor - though Lasdun rejected the latter's "stick a frightening obelisk on it and let's all get down to the Freemason's Arms" approach, in favour of themes of 'urban landscaping' - his buildings resemble artificial hills and valleys, often featuring various interlocking levels, or strata - and he is known for his original use of concrete and other such materials. The National Theatre, for example, is built from concrete, still bearing the pattern left by the wooden planks used to keep them in place while drying.

Sir Denys was appointed CBE in 1965 and knighted in 1976.

The buildings

The Royal National Theatre (1963-76)

Brutal blocks and wide flat strata stand up brazenly to the challenge of opposing Somerset House.

University of East Anglia (1962-68)

Concrete ziggurats have good fireproofing, but also Incan Descent, a ha ha ha.

European Investment Bank (1974-80)

A great big bank.

The Royal College of Physicians (1960-64)

"Physician, hele thyself!".,8543,-11204251730,00.html

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