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


The Smile. Image Courtesy of Alison Brooks Architects.

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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