Philip Dowson was born in South Africa. He educated at Gresham's School, Holt, Norfolk, England, from 1938 to 1942 and then went up to University College, Oxford (where he later designed four student accommodation blocks for Stavertonia in North Oxford) to read Mathematics. This was during the Second World War. After one year at Oxford, he joined the Royal Navy and remained in the service until 1947.
- 1969 Commander of the Order of the British Empire
- 1980 Knighthood
- 1981 Royal Academician
- 1981 Royal Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects
- 1993 President of the Royal Academy of Arts
- Glancey, Jonathan (5 September 2014). "Sir Philip Dowson obituary". The Guardian.
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- Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes. Wilmington, Delaware, USA: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd.
- "Sir Philip Manning Dowson", Oxford Index, Oxford University Press, retrieved 13 March 2015
- "In Memoriam: Sir Philip Manning Dowson". The Martlet. 2: 20. Winter 2014.
- "Philip Dowson RA". Royal Academicians – Architects. Royal Academy of Arts. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- "Dowson, Sir Philip Manning". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
- National Life Stories, 'Dowson, Philip (1 of 17) National Life Stories Collection: Architects' Lives', The British Library Board, 2002. Retrieved 10 April 2018
- "Sir Philip Manning Dowson (1924–2014), Architect and President of the Royal Academy". National Portrait Gallery, London. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
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