Royal National Theatre

Sir Denys Lasdun

This national theatre is Lasdun's most famous and important design. The theatre represents the fulfillment of years of lobbying, beginning at least with George Bernard Shaw, to establish such an institution. Unfortunately, this concrete "brutalist" structure did not meet with universal praise. Prince Charles, for example, said it was "a clever way of building a nuclear power station in the middle of London without anyone objecting."
The building, with interlocking sections and levels, houses three auditoriums: the Olivier, with an open stage (inspired by the ancient amphitheatre at Epidaurus) which seats more than 1100; the Lyttleton, smaller with a conventional proscenium, and the Cottesloe, a black box theatre with variable seating for experimental productions.
All the views below are from the side. The most striking view is from the river, although it is difficult to identify any one facade.

See Index for additional works by Lasdun..

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© 2004 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

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