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.

Basil Ward (1902 - 1976)

Basil Robert Ward was born on the 22nd July 1902 in New Zealand. After being articled to James Augustus Louis Hay from 1918-1923, Ward moved to Wellington and worked for Messrs Crichton, McKay and Haughton. A friendly rivalry developed between him and fellow architectural student, Amyas Connell (1901-1980) and in 1924 the two men travelled to England together.

Ward was awarded the Henry Jarvis Scholarship by the British School at Rome but, having failed to enrol in the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), he was forced to accept a one year travelling scholarship instead. When this scholarship was not renewed Ward moved to Rangoon with his new wife, Beatrix (Connell's sister) where he teamed up with T.O. Foster and was managing partner of Foster and Ward. He worked on a number of projects including the new offices of the port trust, the National Bank of India and buildings for the new university of Rangoon.

On his return to London in 1930, Ward joined his friend, Amyas Connell, to form Connell and Ward, before being joined by Colin Lucas (1906-1984) in May 1934 to form the Connell, Ward and Lucas practice. This lasted until 1939, ceasing trading on the outbreak of the Second World War, during which Ward worked for the Royal Navy. 

At the end of the war, Ward became a partner in the Ramsey Murray White and Ward firm (later Murray Ward) and was involved in designs for Hammersmith Hospital, the University of Oxford and the Rolls Royce Company in Derby. Ward also worked on a cricket pavilion at East Molesey in Surrey; alterations to Temple Gardens, which he had built at Moor Park in 1936; and the Provincial Insurance Building in Kendal. This latter project prompted him to move to the Lake District with his wife, Beatrix.

In addition to working in practice, Ward was a prolific writer and lecturer. He taught at a number of universities including the Royal College of Art and the University of Lancaster where he helped to set up a visual arts centre, run by his friend Dr Geoffrey Beard. 

Ward died in 1976.

Related records in the Dennis Sharp Archive

Record Reference
Biographical information on Ward DCS/2/2/3
Life in New Zealand in the early 1900s and contemporary architecture DCS/2/9/1
Ward's application and studies at the British School at Rome DCS/2/2/1
DCS/2/2/3
DCS/2/2/5
Designs by Connell, Ward and Lucas DCS/2/6
DCS/2/7
Connell's building projects, such as in Kendal, after Connell, Ward and Lucas disbanded, including work with Ramsey Murray White and Ward DCS/2/2/3
Lectures given by Ward DCS/2/2/3