Research Collections

Dennis Sharp Archive

Dennis Sharp (1933-2010) was an architect, designer, author and teacher. The Centre holds Sharp’s archive, which comprises material compiled in the course of his research on the architecture of Connell, Ward and Lucas. The archive is fully catalogued and available for research. This spotlight feature highlights some of the key themes that emerge from the archive and some of the treasures which it contains.

Introduction

Dennis Sharp had a life-long interest in the work of the modernist architects, Amyas Connell, Basil Ward and Colin Lucas, who formed the Connell, Ward and Lucas practice in 1934.

This fascination was initially sparked by a special issue of the Architectural Association (AA) Journal on the practice published in 1956 and also by the teachings of his tutor at the Architectural Association, Arthur Korn. Sharp's extensive research involved the gathering of original plans, drawings, photographs and correspondence that had been produced by the Connell, Ward and Lucas practice.

This culminated in an exhibition, entitled Connell, Ward and Lucas, at the Building Centre in London in September 1994 and later the publication Connell, Ward and Lucas: Modern movement architects in England 1929-1939 (London, 2008). This book, written in collaboration with Sally Rendel, a fellow architect and writer, was supported by a grant from the Paul Mellon Centre and forms the first monograph on the celebrated architectural practice.

In 2013, Sharp's archive, containing all the material he had collected and compiled on Connell, Ward and Lucas throughout his life, was generously donated to the Paul Mellon Centre by Sharp's widow, Yasmin Shariff.