In 1959 Lasdun designed his finest building, the Royal College of Physicians, but which today would probably not gain planning permission, for being out of keeping with its neighbours. It does relate to them in terms of scale and colour, though not of form, and reads as a free standing building from Regent's Park, indeed replacing a villa which was destroyed in the second world war. It also forms one side of a small medical campus round St.Andrews Place, and fills in the streetscape along Albany Road.

Its materials, white mosaic and blue brick, are different from its neighbours, but do resonate with the similar colours of Nash's stucco and slate.

At an intellectual level the overhanging upper floors, on slender columns facing the park, can be seen as a modern interpretation of the classical portico or temple front.

Here the blue brick is appropriate, forming a dark recessed base above which the white upper floors float, reversing the sequence of Nash's stucco and slate. But the lecture theatre with sloping brick walls does resemble a sprawling mansard. There is exposed concrete, to an escape stair, but it is hidden on the service side of the building.

The brief asked for "the usual staircase etc." which Lasdun put at the centre of the plan as part of a processional route up through the building. From the entrance half flights lead down to the Lecture theatre and Fellows Room on the lower ground floor, and up to other public rooms on the upper floors.

 

 

Both the library, and the Osler Room seen here across the main stairs are double height. They contrast with the more intimate Fellows Room on the lower ground floor with its view out onto the garden, from where it is slotted in below the concrete box housing the Censors Room.

 

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