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Knights abroad

David Chipperfield’s well-deserved knighthood is unusual inasmuch as it came via a recommendation from the Foreign Office (in respect of his work in Germany).

Who was the last architect to be recommended in this way? Astragal turns to that repository of knowledge on these matters, Jeremy Melvin, in his Royal Academy eyrie.

Could it have been Basil Spence for his British Embassy in Rome (picturedright), Astragal wonders? Melvin thinks not. In fact, one has to go back to Edwin Lutyens to find precedent – of a sort. ‘That recommendation came from the India Office,’ Melvin reminds Astragal.

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