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Alison Brooks Architects: The Latest Architecture and News

“Functionalism, Rationalism, and Conceptualism Are Not Enough”: In Conversation with Alison Brooks

London-based architect Alison Brooks was born and grew up in Canada and studied architecture at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario. Upon graduation in 1988, she left for London where after working with designer Ron Arad for seven years she started Alison Brooks Architects in 1996. Her most representative works include the Stirling Prize-winning Accordia Brass Building in Cambridge, Exeter College Cohen Quad in Oxford, the Smile Pavilion for the 2016 London Design Festival, and several expressive single-family residences in London: VXO House, Fold House, Lens House, Mesh House, and Windward House.

Among the studio’s current projects are The Passages in Surrey, Canada; Homerton College in Cambridge, and other residential and cultural projects throughout Britain and in North America. This month the architects’ design was shortlisted for the LSE Firoz Lalji Global Hub and Institute for Africa in London. Together with Nigerian practice Studio Contra, the ABA-led team was one of six finalists chosen from 190 international submissions.

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Alison Brooks Architects, Adjaye Associates, Henning Larsen and SLA to Develop Toronto's Waterfront

Quayside Aerial - Full view of proposed development. Image Courtesy of Waterfront Toronto
Quayside Aerial - Full view of proposed development. Image Courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

A consortium comprising developers Dream Unlimited and Great Gulf together with lead architects Alison Brooks Architects, Adjaye Associates, Henning Larsen and landscape design practice SLA were selected to develop Toronto's Quayside into a new neighbourhood containing affordable housing, robust public spaces and new business opportunities. The design for the 4.9 hectares site on Toronto's waterfront proposes over 800 affordable housing units, together with an 8,000 square-metres forested green space and an urban farm, accompanied by arts venues and flexible educational spaces.

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Alison Brooks Architects' House on the Hill is the 2021 RIBA House of the Year

© Paul Riddle
© Paul Riddle

The RIBA House of the Year Award, which highlights the best new architect-designed house in the UK, was given this year to House on the Hill, designed by Alison Brooks Architects. Located in Gloucestershire, the house represents a contemporary extension to an 18th-century farmhouse that functions both as a home and repository of art. Over ten years in the making, the project creates a rich spatial experience while establishing a strong connection between the dwelling and the landscape. The jury commended the house for the “amalgam of architecture, landscape, inhabitation and art” that aptly manages to create a light and calm atmosphere.

Alison Brooks Architects' House on the Hill is the 2021 RIBA House of the Year Alison Brooks Architects' House on the Hill is the 2021 RIBA House of the Year Alison Brooks Architects' House on the Hill is the 2021 RIBA House of the Year Alison Brooks Architects' House on the Hill is the 2021 RIBA House of the Year + 6

Alison Brooks Designs New Entrance Building for Cambridge College

UK-based practise Alison Brooks Architects has recently won the competition to design the new Entrance Building and Children’s Literature Resource Centre for Homerton, the biggest college in Cambridge. Described by the architects as a “lantern”, the proposal is a three-storey mass-timber framed pavilion which will welcome visitors to the grounds while also providing additional study and exhibition space. Through its morphology and copper-clad facades of the upper floors, the new building establishes a dialogue with its context and provides a flexible space that can accommodate the College’s future spatial needs.

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Alison Brooks Imagines Cadence, a Mixed-Use Urban Block, Part of the King’s Cross Central Masterplan in London

Alison Brooks Architects has created a landmark structure in the emerging area of Kings Cross in London, part of its Central Masterplan. The proposed mixed-use urban block containing 158 dwellings will reinforce the neighborhood’s “unique sense of place and celebrate its emerging and historic contexts”.

Alison Brooks Imagines Cadence, a Mixed-Use Urban Block, Part of the King’s Cross Central Masterplan in LondonAlison Brooks Imagines Cadence, a Mixed-Use Urban Block, Part of the King’s Cross Central Masterplan in LondonAlison Brooks Imagines Cadence, a Mixed-Use Urban Block, Part of the King’s Cross Central Masterplan in LondonAlison Brooks Imagines Cadence, a Mixed-Use Urban Block, Part of the King’s Cross Central Masterplan in London+ 9

The 30 Most Influential Architects in London

As a “global capital,” London is home to some of the world’s most influential people, architects included. This fact has recently been laid bare by the London Evening Standard newspaper, whose list of the 1000 most influential Londoners features 30 architects, big and small, who use the city as a base for producing some of the world’s most celebrated architectural works.

Below, we have rounded up the 30 most influential architects in London, complete with examples of the architectural works which have put them on the city and world map.

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2017 World Architecture Festival Announces Day 1 Award Winners

The World Architecture Festival (WAF) has announced the Day 1 category winners of their 2017 awards slate. Winners selected among 32 categories over the first two days of the conference will then continue on to compete for the title of the World Building of the Year 2017 to be announced on the final day of the event on Friday.

The world’s largest architectural award program, the WAF Awards year saw its biggest year yet, with a total of 924 entries received from projects located in 68 countries across the world. The finalist projects will be selected live at the festival by a Super Jury made up of jury chair Robert Ivy, Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute of Architects; Nathalie de Vries, Director & Co-founder of MVRDV; Ian Ritchie, Founder of Ian Ritchie Architects; and Christoph Ingenhoven, Founder of Ingenhoven Architects.

You can check out the full shortlist here, and see which built and future projects took home awards after the break.

Rafael Viñoly, Charles Jencks, and Kim Cook Among Lead Speakers for WAF 2017

The World Architecture Festival (WAF) has announced their program for the 2017 edition focusing on the theme of “Performance.” An incredible list of speakers including Alison Brooks, Charles Jencks, Pierre de Meuron and France Kéré will feature across 3 days from November 15th to 17th at the Arena Berlin, Germany. Conferences, city tours, lectures and critiques of the shortlisted projects from the 2017 WAF awards are among the events scheduled for the festival.

The seminars, speeches, debates and discussions will examine “the topic of performance from the perspectives of housing, public spaces, festivals, cultural institutions and new technologies.”

Alison Brooks Architects Designs First London Highrise for Greenwich Peninsula Development

Alison Brooks Architects has revealed designs for their first London highrise as the project receives planning permission. The mixed-use scheme will consist of a cluster of 4 residential towers of varying heights, with co-work and leisure at the ground floor and podium levels, contributing community value to the regeneration of London’s Greenwich Peninsula, the site of Roger Stirk Harbour + Partners’ O2 Arena and a future £1 Billion Mixed-Use Project by Santiago Calatrava.

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2016 Wood Design & Building Magazine Award Winners Announced

The 2016 winning submissions of Wood Design & Building magazine’s annual Wood Design Awards have been announced, each project demonstrates innovative approaches to and excellence in wood construction within architecture and design.

“For architecture to truly be successful, it must transcend buildings and fulfill the structural, functional and aesthetic needs of a community,” said Vice-President of Market Development for the Canadian Wood Council, Etienne Lalonde. “The Wood Design Awards program is an opportunity for design teams to showcase applications of wood/wood products that ultimately lead to safe, strong and sophisticated buildings and that inspire others to use wood in construction.”

Of the approximately 200 submissions, 22 projects were selected as award recipients across seven categories, selected by an esteemed jury consisting of Peter Bohlin, Patricia Patkau and Brian Court. Special awards were also presented by the Canadian Wood Council.

Here are the 2016 award recipients…

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Alison Brooks Architects Will Design the Next Maggie's Centre

Alison Brooks Architects (ABA) has been selected to design the latest Maggie's Centre, at the edge of the Musgrove Park Hospital Grounds in Somerset, England. Known as Maggie's Taunton, the project is a collaboration between ABA, Johanna Gibbons of JLH Landscape Architecture, and structural engineers Webb Yates.

Maggie's is a charity that provides free practical, emotional, and social support for cancer patients and their families and friends. Considering architecture as a vital element of care, since 1996 the organization has commissioned a who's who of contemporary practices to design their facilities, including Frank Gehry, OMA, Rogers Stirk Harbour, Steven Holl, and the late Zaha Hadid.

Rainham: The East London Village that Became an Urban Planning Exemplar

For the past century or so, the key to turning around the fortunes of a community was thought to be simple: large scale, infrastructural overhaul was capable of rethinking a place from the ground up, fixing any problems. The deficiencies with this sort of thinking are now well known, and in recent years small, surgical interventions which preserve the existing qualities of a town have gained traction. But how do you create large-scale change with such small-scale proposals?

The town of Rainham, at the far Eastern reaches of London, might hold an answer. Having preserved its village-like atmosphere despite being part of London's industrial hinterlands, since the turn of the millennium Rainham has been the subject of a series of small developments that have made a big overall change. Projects by Alison Brooks Architects, Maccreanor Lavington, Peter Beard LANDROOM, Studio Weave, Civic, and East have improved key spaces within Rainham while connecting it to the Thames and the nearby marshes - all by being respectful of the town's existing qualities and responsive to each others' interventions.

RIBA Selects Six Houses for 2014 Manser Medal Shortlist

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the shortlist for this year's Manser Medal, the award given for Britain's best new house. With a shortlist comprising a mixture of two London townhouses, a seaside getaway and three remote getaways in Scotland and Wales, the winner of this year's Manser medal will be announced at the RIBA's awards ceremony on October 16th.

RIBA President Steven Hodder said of the shortlisted schemes: "With each of the projects, the architects have added real value to the homeowner’s happiness and wellbeing. The originality, ingenuity and innovation on show in this shortlist should be an inspiration for anyone planning to build or make improvements to their own home. I encourage the UK’s volume house builders to look at the shortlisted schemes – we all deserve to live in homes that comfort and delight us."

Read on after the break for all six shortlisted projects

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North West Cambridge Extension Proposals Enter Planning Phase

Earlier this year the University of Cambridge announced an ambitious new urban extension in the north west of the city in order to create a framework for a new district centered on a mixed academic and urban community. The development, planned by Aecom, has aspirations of achieving urban space that is well balanced, permanent and sustainable. Containing 1,500 homes for its key workers, accommodation for 2,000 postgraduate students, 1,500 homes for sale, 100,000 square metres of research facilities and a local centre with a primary school, community centre, health centre, supermarket, hotel and shops, proposals from Mecanoo and MUMA are now entering the planning phase. Future lots are expected to be filled by the likes of Stanton Williams, Alison Brooks Architects and by Cottrell and Vermeulen working with Sarah Wigglesworth and AOC.

Alison Brooks Architects Wins Competition For Exeter College, Oxford

Courtesy of Alison Brooks Architects
Courtesy of Alison Brooks Architects

Alison Brooks Architects has won the competition to design a `third quad´ for Exeter College at Oxford University. The “third quadrangle” is just a ten minute walk from the historic 700-year-old Turl Street campus in the heart of Oxford.

More on this project after the break.

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