The Plan – Did you say “wood”?

The Smile features in this month’s issue of The Plan on the technological innovation of it’s use of CLT panels.

The article looks at three very different projects illustrating the use of hardwood as a structural building material;  The Smile, Maggie’s Centre Oldham (dRMM Architects) and Warner Stand at Lords Cricket Ground (Populous).

“The Smile’s disarming simplicity conceals years of research into the cross-lamination of hardwood fibres and is the first structure built with industrial-sized panels of hardwood CLT” The Plan

The Plan

RIBA Gloucestershire: Guest Lecture with Alison Brooks

Alison has been invited by RIBA Gloucestershire to give a lecture on the theme ‘Taking Architecture out of the Straitjacket’ in January.

The event will take place at Gloucester Cathedral and tickets are now available to purchase. Entry is free for RIBA members.


Thu, 01.25.18 , 17:30
Chapter House, Gloucester Cathedral
Chapter House, Gloucester Cathedral
Chapter House, Gloucester Cathedral (map)

Alison Brooks awarded as a Royal Designer for Industry

Alison Brooks has been awarded as a Royal Designer for Industry, regarded as the highest honour a UK designer can receive.

The award celebrates substantial contribution for rethinking design for positive social, economic and environmental impact and only 200 designers can hold the title at any one time.

Alison Brooks was recognised for design excellence and innovation in urban regeneration and masterplanning, and public buildings for the arts, higher education and housing. She said “I look forward to contributing to the brilliant RSA programmes, exchanging knowledge and supporting their design education mission.”



Celebrating Excellence in Wood Architecture: 2016-17 Wood Design Award Winners

The Smile has been published in the Wood Design & Building Awards’ book ‘Celebrating Excellence in Wood Architecture’ which features all 2016-17 winning projects across the globe.

“This structure cleverly uses site placement and materials. It’s a symmetrical, lifting, heavy object in front of an old building that is heavily grounded, and the two work together beautifully. It has this automatic connection with such incredible difference that it’s surprising and delightful.” – Jury

Books will be available to purchase shortly.

Canadian Wood Council

designboom: Interview with Alison Brooks

At the World Architecture Festival 2017 in Berlin, Alison was interviewed by designboom about our award winning ‘The Smile’ and why she thinks the public should be involved in discussions about architecture.




The Smile wins Wood Awards ‘Structural Award’

The Smile has been awarded the Wood Awards 2017 Structural Award.

The Awards aim to recognise, encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood.

Conceived as a habitable arc, The Smile was a 3.5m high, 4.5m wide and 34m long curved cross-laminated tulipwood tube that cantilevered 12m in two directions with viewing platforms at both ends. ABA collaborated with The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), Arup and the London Design Festival 2016 to present the structure at the Chelsea College of Art Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground.