Owen Luder and Rodney Gordon
Owen Luder has become synonymous with brutalism since the reassessment of the style at the start of the 21st century. His firm, the Owen Luder Partnership, designed a host of large scale concrete office buildings and shopping centres all around the suburbs of London and beyond in the 1960s and 70s. The most famous, or infamous, of these were the Tricorn Centre in Portsmouth and Trinity Square in Gateshead, both now demolished. However, Luder was not the architect of most of his famous buildings, but Rodney Gordon, his chief designer throughout the 1960s.
Luder was born in London in 1928, forming the Owen Luder Partnership (OLP) in 1957. Gordon, born in Wanstead in 1933, came to work for Luder in 1957 from London County Council, where he had designed the Michael Faraday Memorial at Elephant & Castle. Together, with Luder handling the business side and Gordon the designing, they produced a range of flats, shopping centres, office and car parks, all recognizable by board marked concrete finishes, spiral staircases and strong horizontal and vertical lines. Although popular with developers from the 1950s to the mid seventies, this uncompromising style fell out of favour with the press in public, with many OLP buildings voted the ugliest in Britain.
Gordon left the practice in the 1970s, forming Tripos Architects and later designing the bronze clad offices at 66 St James Place (1984). Gordon died in 2008. Luder went on to serve as president of RIBA twice, and was still giving interviews about his firm's work in his 90s. Luder died in October 2021.
Featured Buildings: Colman House, Dunbar House, Eros House, Hendon Hall Court, Kingston Fairfields, Powis Street, The Mall, Wigham House