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  1. Anchoring nanoscale building blocks, regardless of their shape, into specific arrangements on surfaces presents a significant challenge for the fabrication of next-generation chip-based nanophotonic devices. Current methods to prepare nanocrystal arrays lack the precision, generalizability, and postsynthetic robustness required for the fabrication of device-quality, nanocrystal-based metamaterials [Q. Y. Lin et al. Nano Lett. 15, 4699–4703 (2015); V. Flauraud et al., Nat. Nanotechnol. 12, 73–80 (2017)]. To address this challenge, we have developed a synthetic strategy to precisely arrange any anisotropic colloidal nanoparticle onto a substrate using a shallow-template-assisted, DNA-mediated assembly approach. We show that anisotropic nanoparticles of virtually any shape can be anchored onto surfaces in any desired arrangement, with precise positional and orientational control. Importantly, the technique allows nanoparticles to be patterned over a large surface area, with interparticle distances as small as 4 nm, providing the opportunity to exploit light–matter interactions in an unprecedented manner. As a proof-of-concept, we have synthesized a nanocrystal-based, dynamically tunable metasurface (an anomalous reflector), demonstrating the potential of this nanoparticle-based metamaterial synthesis platform.