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ALISON BROOKS

WORKSHOP LEADER

Alison Brooks, Principal and Creative Director of Alison Brooks Architects, is one of the leading architects of her generation. She has developed an international reputation for a multi-award winning body of work since founding the practice in 1996. Born in Ontario, Canada in 1962, she moved to London in 1988 after graduating with a BES and BArch from the University of Waterloo.

Alison Brooks’ architectural approach emerges from broad cultural research, with each project expressing a specific response to place, community and landscape.  This has produced a portfolio of projects of distinct identity encompassing urban design, housing, education and buildings for the arts. Her work has attracted international acclaim for its conceptual rigour, sculptural quality and ingenious detailing, best exemplified by the spectacular new Cohen Quadrangle for Exeter College, Oxford. The practice’s growing body of public work includes The Quarterhouse Performing Arts Centre, Folkestone, The Smile, the successful Landmark Pavilion for the 2016 Design Festival which received over 30,000 visitors in just four weeks and our hugely popular installation ‘ReCasting’ at the 16th International Architecture Biennale in Venice.

 

Alison has become a public voice for the profession advocating the role of housing as civic building, the resurgence of building craft and the use of timber in architecture. In 2017 Alison was appointed as a Royal Designer for Industry by the RSA and selected as Mayors Design Advocate for London. She was honoured with the 2017 AJ 100 Contribution to the Profession Award giving the keynote speech to the UK’s 100 largest practices. 

 Named in 2012 by Debrett’s as one of ‘Britain’s 500 Most Influential’, Alison Brooks is the only British architect to have won all three of the UK’s most prestigious awards for architecture: the RIBA Stirling Prize, Manser Medal and Stephen Lawrence Prize.  She was awarded 2013 Woman Architect of the Year by the Architect’s Journal in recognition of her work in housing, regeneration and education.

 Alison Brooks is a CABE / Design Council National Design Review Panel Chair and Trustee of Open-City. She was a member of The Farrell Review of Architecture and the Built Environment and the RIBA Awards group from 2010-15, where she was juror for the 2011 Stirling Prize and 2010 Lubetkin Prize. Brooks is currently External Examiner at the Architectural Association where she taught a Diploma Unit from 2008-2010. In  2016 she received an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering from University of Waterloo, Canada. In 2018 Alison was appointed as the John T. Dunlop Design Critic in Architecture at Harvard GSD and taught a Masters in Collective Housing at ETSAM, Universidad Politécnica of Madrid.

 To mark 21 years since the founding of Alison Brooks Architects she published ‘Ideals then Ideas’; an overview of the practice’s work within conceptual, formal and material themes that have emerged over the past two decades.

Alison Brooks - Projects

Athena

Architects: Alison Brooks Architects

Location: Cambridge, United Kingdom

Year: 2014 - ongoing

Images/text from: http://www.alisonbrooksarchitects.com

 

By the Architects:

“In authentic experience, ‘home’, whether a house, a village, or a region… is a central point of existence and individual identity from which you look out on the rest of the world.” – Edward Relph

In 2014 Alison Brooks Architects with PTE won a two-stage competition to design 240 new homes with Hill, as part of Cambridge University’s exceptionally ambitious North West Cambridge Development. The 150 hectare urban extension masterplanned by Aecom includes university and market housing, a primary school, research space plus community facilities such as a nursery, a doctors’ surgery, community centre, supermarket and retail units, and open green space. Within the 3.7 hectares of lots M1 & M2, ABA are designing 53 houses and 90 apartments.

 

Durham & Gloucester Court

Architects: Alison Brooks Architects

Location: London, United Kingdom

Year: 2014 - ongoing

Images/text from: http://www.alisonbrooksarchitects.com

 

By the Architects:

Durham & Gloucester Court is a regeneration scheme that extends the typology, scale and language of Alison Brooks Architects’ work in the South Kilburn Estate to establish a consistent urban character, in an area that has suffered from 1960s estate planning. Two mansion blocks embrace a communal garden, creating a family-friendly urban housing typology. A wedge-shaped ‘Garden Villa’ completes the compressed quadrangle, forming a legible urban block.

This 84-dwelling development forms part of the South Kilburn Estate Regeneration Masterplan for the London Borough of Brent. Phase 3 of the Masterplan is led by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios with Alison Brooks Architects and Gort Scott, and landscape by Grants Associates. The team won a competition for a total of 236 new homes. The scheme has received planning consent and is due to commence in autumn 2016.

Herringbone Houses

Architects: Alison Brooks Architects

Location: London, United Kingdom

Year: 2005

Images/text from: http://www.alisonbrooksarchitects.com

 

By the Architects:

Uniquely sited in a backlands plot, overlooking a Wandsworth bowling green, this scheme consists of two 400sqm, urban woodland houses for developer Lyford Investments. Like a Victorian house turned inside out, the building’s herringbone cladding is a traditional timber floor pattern transferred to facades, creating an optical illusion of accordion-like surfaces. Light filled atriums illuminate suspended stairs at the centre of each house; high-ceilinged open-plan spaces interlock with gardens; full basements decrease the footprint but add space.

Accordia Brass Building

Architects: Alison Brooks Architects

Location: Cambridge, United Kingdom

Year: 2011

Images/text from: http://www.alisonbrooksarchitects.com

 

By the Architects:

“This is high-density housing at its very best, demonstrating that volume house-builders can deliver high-quality architecture while improving their own bottom line.” – RIBA Stirling Prize Judges

ABA’s twelve unit apartment building is the ‘turning point’ at the central green of the 400-unit master plan. ABA’s initial instinct was that the building should be crystalline, a shimmering apparition among the trees in contrast to the rigorous orthogonal geometry and brick construction throughout the rest of the site.

Alison Brooks - At MCH

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