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Alison Smithson: The Latest Architecture and News

Spotlight: Alison and Peter Smithson

12:00 - 22 June, 2019
The Economist Building. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/seier/5426468934/'>Flickr user seier</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
The Economist Building. Image © Flickr user seier licensed under CC BY 2.0

Wife and husband pair Alison (22 June 1928 – 16 August 1993) and Peter Smithson (18 September 1923 – 3 March 2003) formed a partnership that led British Brutalism through the latter half of the twentieth century. Beginning with a vocabulary of stripped down modernism, the pair were among the first to question and challenge modernist approaches to design and urban planning. Instead, they helped evolve the style into what became Brutalism, becoming proponents of the "streets in the sky" approach to housing.

Robin Hood Gardens. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevecadman/2361183115/'>Flickr user stevecadman</a> licensed under <a href=https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> Garden Building, St Hilda's College, Oxford University. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevecadman/3414623599/'>Flickr user stevecadman</a> licensed under <a href=https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> The Economist Building. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/seier/5427505450'>Flickr user seier</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> Robin Hood Gardens. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/98115025@N00/3058342144'>Flickr user stevecadman</a> licensed under <a href=https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> + 8

What Can Be Learnt From The Smithsons' "New Brutalism" In 2014?

00:00 - 22 June, 2014
What Can Be Learnt From The Smithsons' "New Brutalism" In 2014?, Alison and Peter Smithson (year unknown)
Alison and Peter Smithson (year unknown)

Sheffield born Alison Gill, later to be known as Alison Smithson, was one half of one of the most influential Brutalist architectural partnerships in history. On the day that she would be celebrating her 86th birthday we take a look at how the impact of her and Peter Smithson's architecture still resonates well into the 21st century, most notably in the British Pavilion at this year's Venice Biennale. With London's Robin Hood Gardens, one of their most well known and large scale social housing projects, facing imminent demolition how might their style, hailed by Reyner Banham in 1955 as the "new brutalism", hold the key for future housing projects?

Robin Hood Gardens, London. Image Courtesy of John Levett - http://www.flickr.com/photos/joseph_beuys_hat/ Robin Hood Gardens, London. Image Courtesy of Amanda Vincent-Rous - http://www.flickr.com/photos/51746218@N03/ Drawing at the 2014 Venice Biennale, Alison & Peter Smithson (1963). Image © James Taylor-Foster Robin Hood Gardens, Alison and Peter Smithson + 8