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.



The Modern Timber House in the UK

Herringbone houses features in Peter Wilson’s ‘The Modern Timber House in the UK: New Paradigms and Technologies’, published in September 2017.

Uniquely sited in a backlands plot, overlooking a Wandsworth bowling green, Herringbone Houses 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.

These houses are a rare example of a developer aiming to match the craftsmanship of neighbouring Victorian villas within a contemporary architectural language. The houses were conceived from the principle of manipulating two continuous planes of timber and graphite render, that extend from exterior to interior, forming walls, floors, external decking and fences.

Copies of the book can be purchased for £35 online.

ISBN 978-1-904320-09-8
Arcamedia Ltd
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Alison Brooks to lecture at Greenwich University

As part of Greenwich University’s Hawksmoor International Lecture Series 2017-2018, open to all, Alison Brooks is giving a talk on ‘ The Ideal and the Real – why Civicness is the project’ at the Tessa Blackstone Lecture Theatre, Greenwich on Thursday 23 November.

In her lecture, Alison will speak about the recent and current work of Alison Brooks Architects, including: The Cohen Quadrangle at Oxford University; a high rise urban block in Kings Cross, London, The Smile Pavilion and housing scheme Ely Court, shortlisted for the 2017 Mies Award for contemporary European architecture. She will discuss the notions of civicness and performance, the role of experimental materials and making, and how these can transform both our expectation and everyday experience of cities.

Thu, 11.23.17 , 18.30
University of Greenwich
University of Greenwich
University of Greenwich (map)

Architecture Masters

Alison Brooks was interviewed by Owen Wainhouse for episode 11 of Architecture Masters, the new podcast from the London Festival of Architecture.

In this episode Alison talks about her early experience, her career, current projects and housing in Britain.


Architecture Masters

The Smile wins the World Architecture Festival 2017 ‘Display’ award

The Smile has been awarded the World Architecture Festival’s 2017 Display Award after a vigorous judging process in Berlin on 15 November.

Alison Brooks Architects collaborated with The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), Arup and the London Design Festival to present this cross-laminated tulipwood structure.

The Smile is one of the Festival’s Landmark Projects in 2016, and was inhabited and explored by the public. The spectacular, curved, tubular timber structure measured 3.5m high, 4.5m wide and 34m long and was effectively a beam curving up at both ends. Showcasing the structural and spatial potential of cross-laminated American tulipwood, The Smile was the first ever ‘mega-tube’ made with construction-sized panels of hardwood CLT.

World Architecture Festival