Sir Hugh Casson (1910-1999)

Sir Hugh Casson was educated at Eastbourne College, St John’s College Cambridge and the Bartlett School of Architecture. Trained in the 1930s in the early modernist style, he taught at the Cambridge School of Architecture. After employment as a camoufleur during World War 2 by the Air Ministry, in 1948 he was appointed as director of architecture for the Festival of Britain. A close friend of the Royal Family, he undertook designs for the 1953 coronation, designed the interior of the Royal Yacht Britannia (“The overall idea was to give the impression of a country house at sea”), and taught the Prince of Wales to paint in watercolours. Amongst his architectural achievements are the Elephant House at London Zoo, the 1978 redevelopment of Bristol Docks, the Raised Faculty Building for The University of Cambridge, and a building for the Royal College of Art.

He published a number of illustrated books, of which Casson’s Oxford  and Casson’s Cambridge are probably the best known. A limited edition series of prints was produced from the paintings.