The Anatomy of a Building: Denys Lasdun and the Royal College of Physicians

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The Anatomy of a Building: Denys Lasdun and the Royal College of Physicians
© RIBA

A free retrospective of revolutionary architect Sir Denys Lasdun's work to celebrate the centenary of his birth.

The Royal College of Physicians' headquarters turns 50 this year, and as part of the celebrations it's hosting an exhibition in tribute to the building's visionary architect, Sir Denys Lasdun. The event also marks the centenary of the pioneering modern British architect's birth, and the collection includes original models of the buildings he was most famous for as well as drawings, letters and photographs. The exhibition is free.

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Visited today. Great to discover a building I thought was only accessible during Open House is free to get into all year round. And what a building! Space age appearance from the exterior, but up close it's made of beautiful materials: walls covered with porcelain tiles, floors with marble, hand made bricks form extraordinary shapes. The whole effect is mind-blowing, though quite, well, serene. 

Signs everywhere point out all the details that you might otherwise miss and surprises like The Censor's Room, that are definitely worth seeing if you can.

The exhibition is seriously good, explaining how the building was the result of a long process of collaboration between the architect and the good burghers of the Royal College. It also marks the centenary of the Denys Lasdun's life and covers his major buildings from the National Theatre to University of London and Keeling House flats. As well as personal effects and revealing correspondence, there are some wonderful models of his 'greatest hits'. The highlight for me was the original design for the National Theatre - what a shame that was never built! You'll have to go along to see for yourself...

This is not just one for architecture nerds though, the College has got gruesome medical instruments and quite a collection of paintings too, which I didn't know about before, so for a freebie this is a winner.

Top marks. Definitely recommended.