By the 1980s Lasdun's practice realised that there was little future in the public sector, for which he had designed most of his housing, educational buildings, and the National Theatre. They turned to commercial work, both corporate headquarters and speculative blocks.
For the latter Lasdun turned from concrete cladding to all glass facades and faceted shapes as at Milton Gate, Moor Lane completed in 1991. He never tried out the Post Modern, but the white circular central core, which appears above the roof is vaguely Stirlingesque in its geometry, but so different from the rest of the building it can appear to be part of an adjacent building towering over Lasdun's.
The faceted green glass exterior reflecting sunlight and the opposite buildings, makes the whole structure dematerialise. It is physically and metaphorically the least concrete and solid of Lasdun's buildings, and should be credited to the practice's full name, Denys Lasdun, Peter Softley and Associates.
The former can be represented by the IBM Central Marketing Centre in London, of 1978. It is adjacent to the National Theatre, whose urban landscape it complements, particularly the broad terraces stepping down on its west side. The external finish is similar in colour, but subtly different in material and texture to that of the Theatre.
Sir Denys Lasdun remained a consultant to the firm, by then called Hurley Robertson, in his 80s, as their work took on more of the character of Arups, Fosters and Foggo, with whom they were in competition. An example completed in 1997 is 1 Great St.Helens towering above the southwest corner of St.Helens Bishopsgate.
The buildings grouped round the west front of St. Helens vary in form and material, but no.1 adopts their red colour, with sandstone pilasters adjacent to the corner, and a scale appropriate to the churchyard, with bay windows. Its main, curved, elevation is to Undershaft, and here it has a horizontal grid of brownish grey windows and spandrel panels, a la Arups etc. Similarly it has a recessed top floor and sunbreaker cornices.
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