Ian Davidson, the founding director of architect Lifschutz Davidson, died last week of a heart attack.
Davidson, 48, cut his architectural teeth with Britain's two late-modernist masters, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster, while working on the Lloyd's Building in London and the Hongkong & Shanghai Bank in Hong Kong.

Davidson's unexpected death has shocked the architectural sector. Lifelong friend Ken Shuttleworth, a partner in Foster and Partners, described Davidson as a "dedicated professional".

He added: "The buildings Ian has worked on over the years leave the world a better place and architecture is a sadder profession today having lost someone of such talent so young."

Davidson's practice, which he founded with Alex Lifschutz in 1986, extended Foster's and Rogers' line in sophisticated, impeccably detailed modernism. This style was epitomised in the co-operative housing at Coin Street on London's South Bank, completed in 1995.

To this refined architectural style the practice added an urban chic of its own, as seen in the crimson soft-leather bucket chairs and indigo blue ceiling of the Oxo Tower restaurant next door to Coin Street.

Architecture is a sadder profession having lost someone of such talent

Ken Shuttleworth, friend and former colleague

Lifschutz Davidson carried out an urban design strategy for the South Bank that comprised 42 projects, including the Hungerford pedestrian bridge completed last year.

Davidson was unsympathetic to his profession's narcissistic love of signature buildings, and led the way into the wider responsibilities of urban design and generic building systems. He had a strong sense of the duty that successful practitioners have to pay back some of their expertise and energies to their profession and society at large. He served as chairman of the RIBA awards group, an enabler for CABE, and vice-chairman of the Architects Registration Board. He was also unstinting in his efforts to raise money for charity.

Davidson leaves a wife, Lyn, and two children, William and Lucy.