publications

Kiosk: Spaces

Alison Brooks profiled in issue 3 of Kiosk., where she speaks to David Michon, former editor of Icon Magazine, about her time living and studying in Rome, her practice, work and ideals.

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Alison Brooks profiled in issue 3 of Kiosk., where she speaks to David Michon, former editor of Icon Magazine, about her time living and studying in Rome, her practice, work and ideals.

“One architect that has been captivated by Villa Adriana’s masterclass, is the Canadian-born Alison Brooks. In 1984, 20-something Brooks was living and studying in Rome; drawn to the Villa, she spent three weeks there in “solitary drawing and speculation”, understanding the art of the place – its nuanced design, its interaction with an undulating and disjointed landscape and its ability to surprise and delight.

And Tivoli seems to have had a lasting impression. Her best work, in tune with Hadrian’s villa, is a version of housing that is distinctly civic-minded (even if edged by countryside). It is built to last, with above-average understanding of good city-building, relishing in the collage of urban space.”

Source
Kiosk.
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Architectural Review: Women in Architecture

Alison Brooks Architects features in October’s Architectural Review among practices that have made a commitment to support and enable change through the Women in Architecture programme.

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Alison Brooks Architects features in October’s Architectural Review among practices that have made a commitment to support and enable change through the Women in Architecture programme.

“Alison Brooks Architects is delighted to sponsor the Women in Architecture programme as a partner. The programme has raised awareness of the often unrecognised contributions women have made to contemporary practice and historically; it has initiated a huge array of opportunities for women to meet and exchange ideas; and it has stimulated debate on workplace equality. All of this we hope will lead to industry change. The programme celebrates the achievements of women in the profession while reminding us that we can all change the status quo.

ABA has grown to a practice that’s 50 per cent female and more than 50 per cent international; we support all forms of diversity. We ensure women are equal in leading our project teams and encourage them to engage in events and discourse outside practice – to make their voices heard. We’re convinced that the practice of architecture must evolve and share the WIA programme’s broader aspiration to create an inclusive profession where there are no social or gender-based boundaries. This is an essential campaign not only for women’s equality, but the quality of the built environment and the future of architecture”

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Architectural Review
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Architects’ Data File: The Smile The Smile

The Smile forms the front cover of the September issue of the Architects’ Data File, in recognition of its nomination for the IStructE Structural Awards 2017.

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The Smile forms the front cover of the September issue of the Architects’ Data File, in recognition of its nomination for the IStructE Structural Awards 2017.

The timber pavilion has been shortlisted in the category for ‘Small Projects (of under £1million)’. ABA collaborated with The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and Arup, whose Special Structures team in London described the project as ‘the most complex piece of CLT engineering in the world’.

The IStructE awards celebrate the role of structural engineers as innovative, creative design professionals and to showcase the world’s cutting edge engineering projects. Winners will be announced at a ceremony held on Friday, 17 November 2017 at The Brewery in London.

 

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Architects' Data File
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Casabella: Ely Court feature Ely Court

Ely Court features in this month’s edition of Italian magazine, Casabella. The mixed tenure scheme within the South Kilburn Estate Regeneration masterplan was recently a finalist for the 2017 Mies van der Rohe Award, the biennial European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture.

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Ely Court features in this month’s edition of Italian magazine, Casabella. The mixed tenure scheme within the South Kilburn Estate Regeneration masterplan was recently a finalist for the 2017 Mies van der Rohe Award, the biennial European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture.

“The arrangement of the new volumes reveals an almost surgical interest in mending the context through actions that alter the nature of the block itself… Simple elements like walls and enclosures are ennobled by the use of brick and connected to the building with the aim of constructing a single architectural element capable of designing and containing public space. These details reflect a clear intention to put the new architecture at the service of the neighbourhood, and to use it to reconfigure the identity of the context.”

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Casabella
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Alison Brooks honoured with AJ100 Contribution to the Profession Award

Voted for by employees of the UK’s top architectural practices, Alison Brooks was awarded with this year’s AJ100 Contribution to the Profession Award at a gala ceremony at Tower of London.[more..]

Voted for by employees of the UK’s top architectural practices, Alison Brooks was awarded with this year’s AJ100 Contribution to the Profession Award at a gala ceremony at Tower of London.

The award was a particular privilege, with previous recipients including Zaha Hadid, Richard Rogers and David Chipperfield. Click here to read the full article by Ruth Slavid in The Architects’ Journal.

“I represent a generation that operated in the transition between the high Modernism of the 20th Century through Post-modernism and Post-postmodernism and all the isms until finally everybody ran out of isms. We realised that we can have diversity and influences from history without being historicist. We can be sensitive and responsive to existing cultures. I feel fortunate to have been part of taking architecture out of its straitjacket.” – Alison Brooks.

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Financial Times: Timber advocates reach for the skies The Smile

The Smile features as an exemplar of innovative use of CLT in the Financial Times’ article on the cutting edge of a new timber architecture.[more..]

The Smile features as an exemplar of innovative use of CLT in the Financial Times’ article on the cutting edge of a new timber architecture.

‘After more than three centuries, a wooden architecture is once more taking shape in the city, which is leading the world in large-scale urban timber construction… However, temporary and experimental buildings are starting to nurture that experience. Last year Alison Brooks Architects built the world’s largest CLT tubular structure at site. The Smile… was a single, simple curve erected for the London Design Festival… London may no longer be surrounded by the forests of the Elizabethan era, but it is at least at the cutting edge of a new timber architecture’.

Click here to read the full article.

Source
Financial Times
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Christie’s International Real Estate: Meet the Architects Lens House

Alison Brooks advises Christie’s International Real Estate Magazine’s readers on how best to work with architects to design and build their dream home in The Architecture Issue.

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Alison Brooks advises Christie’s International Real Estate Magazine’s readers on how best to work with architects to design and build their dream home in The Architecture Issue.

In this feature, the potential of both new builds and renovations – in the form of ABA’s Lens House in London – are explored:

‘A home is such a high-performance piece of architecture… People experience their home every single day, and it is tested at all times; it has to live up to this scrutiny. An architect’s skill is to be able to make domestic space, form, and materials work as art, and in ways you would not have thought of yourself, such as inventive approaches to working with light, capturing unexpected views, and creating new relationships – it’s about connecting spaces and people more joyfully.’

To read the full article, click here.

Source
Christie's International Real Estate Magazine
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Dezeen: Ely Court Feature Ely Court

‘Balconies with bronze frames break up the brick exterior of these three housing blocks in northwest London by Alison Brooks Architects – a finalist for this year’s Mies van der Rohe Award’.

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‘Balconies with bronze frames break up the brick exterior of these three housing blocks in northwest London by Alison Brooks Architects – a finalist for this year’s Mies van der Rohe Award’.

‘Brooks’ London firm designed Ely Court to create 44 new homes as part of the South Kilburn Estate Regeneration Masterplan – one of the largest regeneration schemes in London.

The 6,509-square-metre complex is made up of three residential blocks named Terrace, Link block and the Flatiron arranged around a garden square’.

To read the full piece, click here.

Source
Dezeen
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Azure: 30 Must-Know Women Architects Ely Court

Alison Brooks features among prominent UK and Irish architects on Azure Magazine’s international must-know list of women architects.

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Alison Brooks features among prominent UK and Irish architects on Azure Magazine’s international must-know list of women architects.

Azure states: ‘In honour of International Women’s Day, we present this list of 30 women architects from across the globe whose names (and works) everyone should know’.

‘Born in Ontario but based in London, England, Brooks has become one of the U.K.’s most acclaimed architects and the only one to have ever won the U.K.’s most prestigious prizes: the Stephen Lawrence Prize, the Manser Medal and the 2008 RIBA Stirling Prize.

Why you should know her: Brook’s Ely Court, a residential development in northwest London, is one of five finalists vying for the prestigious Mies van der Rohe Award this year’.

For the full list, click here.

Source
Azure
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Architects’ Journal: Ely Court only UK finalist for EU Mies Award 2017 Ely Court

‘Alison Brooks Architects’ RIBA Award-winning Ely Court in north west London is the only UK finalist chosen for the 2017 Mies van der Rohe Award.

‘Alison Brooks Architects’ RIBA Award-winning Ely Court in north west London is the only UK finalist chosen for the 2017 Mies van der Rohe Award.

The 43-home scheme in South Kilburn made the five-strong shorlist alongside a museum in Poland by BBGK Architekci; a house in Denmark by Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects; a museum in France by Rudy Ricciotti and a block of flats in the Netherlands by NL Architects and XVW architectuur.

In December it was revealed that 19 schemes from the UK had made it on to a 356-strong longlist for the prestigious pan-European award. These included FAT’s A House for Essex; MUMA’s Whitworth Gallery in Manchester; Caruso St John’s Newport Street Gallery in London;  DRDH’s Stormen concert hall and library in Bodø in Norway, and AL_A’s MAAT cultural centre in Lisbon.

The Mies van der Rohe Award, the biennial European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, is widely recognised as the highest accolade in European architecture and features a €60,000 (£51,000) top prize.’

Read more in The Architects’ Journal article here.

Source
Architects' Journal
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The Guardian: To solve the housing crisis we need new ideas, not garden cities Newhall Be

In her article in The Guardian, Frances Holliss uses ABA’s Newhall Be as an exemplar of design for home-based work.

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In her article in The Guardian, Frances Holliss uses ABA’s Newhall Be as an exemplar of design for home-based work.

‘Few contemporary home-based workers live and work in conditions that suit them. But they could. Instead of building miserable cookie-cutter housing, the home and the workplace could be combined in all sorts of ways to make “workhomes”. These could be built with street-facing workspace, like Alison Brooks Architects’ prize-winning Newhall Be scheme outside Harlow…’

Source
The Guardian
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The Times: Is this the cleverest new town in Britain? Veteran Oak Quarter

Cambridge University’s exceptionally ambitious North West Cambridge Development, including ABA’s Veteran Oak Quarter, has been featured in The Sunday Times’ property section.

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Cambridge University’s exceptionally ambitious North West Cambridge Development, including ABA’s Veteran Oak Quarter, has been featured in The Sunday Times’ property section.

“Is this the cleverest new town in Britain? A development on the edge of Cambridge will offer affordable housing for academics, as well as student digs and open-market homes.

“’We want this to be an exemplar development,’ says Heather Topel, acting project director for the North West Cambridge development… The residents won’t have to deal with the messiness of a weekly bin day. Instead, the 700 rental apartments will be served by underground bins, with an electronic monitoring system sending a message to a control centre whenever one is full. The university has commissioned a special lorry to do the emptying.

“A series of artificial lakes is being created on the edge of the development to contain excess rainwater runoff, which will then be recycled back into the system and used for washing machines and toilets, as well as to irrigate green spaces. Gravel dug out of the first lake has been piled up to create a grassy hill and block out traffic noise from the nearby M11. Once complete, the lakes will be a refuge for wildlife, walkers and runners, with public art installations designed to function like modern-day follies.

“A dedicated energy centre will provide hot water and central heating, doing away with the need for boilers in every property. In addition, the roofs will have solar panels and 20% of all the energy consumed will be produced on site.

“Cars will be parked underground, and running right through the development will be a “green superhighway” for pedestrians and cyclists. Residents will be able to cycle to the city centre or Cambridge North station (due to open in May) within 10 minutes.

“And because the development will be home to bookish types from around the world, each flat will have extra storage space for reading matter and suitcases, as well as a designated study area. Vents covered in noise-limiting material will allow fresh air to circulate without the need to open windows, which might distract hard-working researchers. All of the flats will have generous ceiling heights — reminiscent of older Cambridge buildings.”

“Rob Hall, deputy managing director of Hill Residential, the developer responsible for the homes for sale, sees the university’s project as being akin to Bournville, the village near Birmingham established by the Cadbury family in the late 19th century to accommodate workers at its chocolate factory. “It’s an employer trying to look after its staff,” he says. “Frankly, there is not enough accommodation in the city. The university is to be applauded for identifying and acting on this huge need.”

Source
The Sunday Times
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Alison Brooks featured in The Spear’s 500

Alison Brooks has been featured in the architecture category of the 2017 edition of The Spear’s 500. Launched by Spear’s in 2014, the directory is the world’s first comprehensive guide to the top private client advisers, wealth managers and HNW service providers.

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Alison Brooks has been featured in the architecture category of the 2017 edition of The Spear’s 500. Launched by Spear’s in 2014, the directory is the world’s first comprehensive guide to the top private client advisers, wealth managers and HNW service providers.

“‘I try to avoid styles and focus on ideas. The greatest work is always the result of a concept or an ideal that leads the design into uncharted territory’. So says the formidable Brooks, who, since founding her practice in 1996, has become one of the world’s most sought-after architects; she was recently named as one of Britain’s 500 Most Influential people by The Sunday Times.

Her London-based studio has a portfolio ranging from one-off houses to education buildings, high-end residential developments and masterplans. ‘Each of our projects is unique in its concept and detail: our designs respond in a very specific way to each client, place and brief,’ she says.

Brooks has won numerous awards, including Architect of the Year and Housing Architect of the Year 2012 and is the only UK practice to have won the RIBA’s three most prestigious awards for architecture; but the greatest achievement of her practice so far, she says, was winning the commission for the Cohen Quadrangle for Exeter College at Oxford University which is due to be completed in early 2017.”

Source
The Spear's 500
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Structure as Finish: The Smile features in this month’s Frame The Smile

Frame magazine has featured The Smile in its latest issue, No 114 Jan – Feb 2017.

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Frame magazine has featured The Smile in its latest issue, No 114 Jan – Feb 2017.

“You can build a friendly house out of flooring. For the American Hardwood Export Council and the London Design Festival, Alison Brooks Architects worked with Arup to realize, in cross-laminated tulipwood, the Smile: a 34-m-long rectangular dwelling. The hollow ‘tube’ illustrates the structural and aesthetic potential of an engineered timber harvested from fast-growing trees and suitable for building walls, floors and ceilings. Said to be stronger than concrete and machinable to super-high tolerances, the material can reduce construction time by up to 30% when used for prefabrication.” 

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Frame
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The Sunday Times: Six buildings making an impact this year Exeter College Cohen Quad

The Exeter College Cohen Quad was chosen by Jeremy Melvin of The Sunday Times as one of six buildings that will make an impact this year.

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The Exeter College Cohen Quad was chosen by Jeremy Melvin of The Sunday Times as one of six buildings that will make an impact this year.

“What makes this project notable among the crop of new buildings in Oxford and Cambridge is how it transforms the traditional spatial configurations of Oxbridge colleges. It manages to look to the future, using new technologies, while still catering to the traditional needs for accommodation and secure storage for special collections.

The central conceptual idea and physical space is the Learning Commons, a large volume offering levels of differing size and degrees of intimacy. Studious scholars can hide themselves away and study intently; others might spot people and exchange ideas.

This is not Oxford’s most flamboyant new building — Zaha Hadid’s work in 2015 on St Antony’s College, and Herzog & de Meuron’s Blavatnik School of Government, debuted last year, outdo it on that score — and it had to fit a lot of accommodation into a tight planning envelope. But it is perhaps the most far-reaching in showing how congenial spaces and new technologies might support academic life, just as the quad, the library and the printed book did 500 years ago.”

Source
The Sunday Times
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The Guardian’s best architecture of 2016 Ely Court

Rowan Moore of The Guardian chose our Ely Court project in Kilburn to represent the best of architecture of 2016.

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Rowan Moore of The Guardian chose our Ely Court project in Kilburn to represent the best of architecture of 2016.

 “The best news in the not-entirely-cheerful year of 2016, architecturally speaking, is that the finest new housing is being built by local authorities. Projects such as Alison Brooks’s Ely Court for the London borough of Brent, or similar works in the boroughs of Camden, Hackney and elsewhere, are showing that council homes do not have be the grim monoliths of legend. They are well considered and humanly scaled, with hospitable shared spaces, balconies you might actually want to sit on and other small but significant details. As central government is showing glimmers of realisation that volume housebuilders cannot meet the country’s needs alone, developments like these are part of the answer.

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The Guardian
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Architizer

Alison Brooks was featured as one of the ’26 Women Who Changed Architecture’ in this Architizer article.

“A London-based architect with a sculptor’s approach to shape and proportion, Alison Brooks is one of Britain’s most original architects. In 2013, she received the AJ Woman Architect of the Year Award. One of the judges, Paul Monaghan, applauded the panel’s choice, explaining that “her mixture of sculpture, architecture and detail is what has made her such a powerful force in British architecture.””

Alison Brooks was featured as one of the ’26 Women Who Changed Architecture’ in this Architizer article.

“A London-based architect with a sculptor’s approach to shape and proportion, Alison Brooks is one of Britain’s most original architects. In 2013, she received the AJ Woman Architect of the Year Award. One of the judges, Paul Monaghan, applauded the panel’s choice, explaining that “her mixture of sculpture, architecture and detail is what has made her such a powerful force in British architecture.””

Source
Architizer
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Detail The Smile

According to the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is “The Smile”, the first construction project ever in the industrially manufactured hardwood CLT is used. The Arup engineers praise the material to be particularly efficient: A mere 60 cubic meters of wood were necessary to provide a constructed area of 150 square meters.”

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According to the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is “The Smile”, the first construction project ever in the industrially manufactured hardwood CLT is used. The Arup engineers praise the material to be particularly efficient: A mere 60 cubic meters of wood were necessary to provide a constructed area of 150 square meters.”

Source
Detail
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Blueprint The Smile

“From Alex Chinneck’s upturned electricity pylon in Greenwich to dRMM’s Endless Stair outside Tate Modern, London Design Festival’s Landmark Projects invite architects and designers to create extraordinary installations and objects that engage with the public and push materials to their limits. This year sees Alison Brooks create a gravity-defying cross-laminated timber structure at the Chelsea College of Arts.

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“From Alex Chinneck’s upturned electricity pylon in Greenwich to dRMM’s Endless Stair outside Tate Modern, London Design Festival’s Landmark Projects invite architects and designers to create extraordinary installations and objects that engage with the public and push materials to their limits. This year sees Alison Brooks create a gravity-defying cross-laminated timber structure at the Chelsea College of Arts.

ceri.edmunds [less..]