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A Tribute to Richard Rogers

‘Deeply saddened by the loss of Richard Rogers. In 2009 Richard gave me and fellow RIBA juror and artist Madelon Vriesendorp an unforgettable tour of Maggie’s Charing Cross; I took this photo on the day. For me it captures the brilliance and warmth of Richard and Madelon, two of the world’s greatest architectural imaginations.’  – Alison Brooks

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‘Deeply saddened by the loss of Richard Rogers. In 2009 Richard gave me and fellow RIBA juror and artist Madelon Vriesendorp an unforgettable tour of Maggie’s Charing Cross; I took this photo on the day. For me it captures the brilliance and warmth of Richard and Madelon, two of the world’s greatest architectural imaginations.’  – Alison Brooks

 

Alison Brooks’ 2009 RIBA Awards Jury Citation for Maggie’s Charing Cross:

‘It is not normally in the power of architecture to move onlookers to tears, but this extraordinary building has inadvertently proven its ability to do just that. How is it possible that a building can generate an immediate and pervasive sense of welcome, warmth, serenity –  and even love – in the context of a frantic Hammersmith thoroughfare – and in the shadow of a dauntingly huge NHS hospital? This is the poetry that Rogers Stirk Harbor have worked at the Maggies Centre in Fulham Palace Road. Their quietly confident building is truly, unquestionably a haven for those who have been diagnosed with cancer. Their achievement is in having created a completely informal, home-like sanctuary to help patients learn to live – or die – with cancer, beautifully.

Conceived as a two-storey pavilion, the architects have sheltered the centre from its harsh surroundings with a thick and cheerfully orange masonry wall that also serves as a backdrop for carefully planted tree groves and gardens. Its positive spirit is signalled with a roof canopy that hovers high above the centre’s walls to protectively oversail its many intimate internal gardens, courtyards and roof terraces.

This is the impression one has from a distance, while approaching the centre along the exquisite garden walk that has been design by Dan Pearson. With one large opening in the centre’s façade providing a glimpse of a courtyard garden and dining table, it immediately speaks of simple human pleasures. It invites us in.

Passing along the garden wall to the Centre’s entrance one first encounters a window seat, from where one can sit and contemplate the garden at the end of the passage, or the entrance door to the centre itself. This is a place allowing visitors to stop, rest, take a deep breath, and make a decision to either enter or to turn back. How many buildings provide their visitors such a simple luxury, to spend some time sitting in a beautiful spot before actually going in?

Once inside, a fireplace, a walled garden, and then the kitchen table beckons as the centrepiece of a double height space. This is the centre’s domestic heart, washed in light and framed by beautifully cast in-situ concrete columns. Also supporting the 1st floor and roof, the column arrangement is based on a 4m grid that provides an ideal proportion for the consultation, treatment rooms, living spaces and garden courtyards that all open off the kitchen. There are no doors in the centre – privacy can be created by sliding screens, translucent glass panels, or bookshelves. These are all built in a light timber that contributes a slightly Scandinavian air of well-being to the centre. Books, art, built-in furniture and inglenooks all contribute to an over-riding sense of comforting domesticity.

The first floor administration space is completely open to the floor below –  in complete contrast to most health care institutions. This green-floored series of mezzanines feels like a tree house with views out on all four sides with a suntrap roof terrace protected by the oversailing roof.  Balustrades at this level have been detailed as bookshelves and display surfaces, another example of the architect making every element of the building work in a multiplicity of modes, both beautiful and functional, with intense thoughtfulness and care.

The jury felt that RSH’s Maggie’s Centre exceeds at every level this most demanding of briefs; to create a sanctuary for terminally ill cancer sufferers for a client and personal friend of the architect (Charles Jencks); whose deep conviction in architecture’s power to shape our experience has dedicated the building to the memory of his wife. Richard Rogers and his team have produced a timeless work of architecture that not only distills the intentions of this brief but expresses in built form compassion, sensitivity and a deep sense of our common humanity.’ 

A Brooks

 

Chair of Jury: Alison Brooks

Regional Representative: Chris Hampson

Lay assessor: Madelon Vriesdendorp

Date of visit: Thursday 2 April

Name of Scheme: Maggie’s Centre, London

Address of Scheme: Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road, London W6 8RF

Architect: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Client: Laura Lee, Maggie’s

           

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Windward House Crowned RIBA House of the Year 2021

Windward House has won this year’s RIBA House of the Year award.

“This geometric design skilfully fuses together the old with the new – connecting two architectures separated by over 300 years,” said Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) president Simon Allford.

Windward House has won this year’s RIBA House of the Year award.

“This geometric design skilfully fuses together the old with the new – connecting two architectures separated by over 300 years,” said Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) president Simon Allford.

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Alison Brooks to speak at CTU Prague, Faculty of Architecture

Join Alison Brooks for her ‘Re-Invent’ lecture, as part of CTU Prague, Faculty of Architecture’s November Talks series. The presentation will be livestreamed on CTU’s YouTube page.

Join Alison Brooks for her ‘Re-Invent’ lecture, as part of CTU Prague, Faculty of Architecture’s November Talks series. The presentation will be livestreamed on CTU’s YouTube page.

When
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Cohen Quad, Exeter College, Oxford wins an Architecture MasterPrize (Best of Best)

A ‘campus within a building’, our Cohen Quad, Exeter College, Oxford has won an Architecture MasterPrize award.

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A ‘campus within a building’, our Cohen Quad, Exeter College, Oxford has won an Architecture MasterPrize award.

Conceived as a place for social gathering and academic exchange, the project is Oxford’s first fully inclusive and barrier-free quad.

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Windward House Wins Manser Medal – House of the Year 2021

Our Windward House has won the Manser Medal – House of the Year 2021, part of the Architects’ Journal Architecture Awards. A celebration of domestic life shared with an extraordinary collection of art, our house impressed the judges as a “complete piece of architecture – beautifully executed and considered.”

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Our Windward House has won the Manser Medal – House of the Year 2021, part of the Architects’ Journal Architecture Awards. A celebration of domestic life shared with an extraordinary collection of art, our house impressed the judges as a “complete piece of architecture – beautifully executed and considered.”

The project exemplifies a “real success story of a client and architect working together. The ambition and quality of the end result is wonderful” , said one judge.  

Alison Brooks Architects is honoured to have received such a prestigious award for the second time, marking another significant milestone for the practice.

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Alison Brooks to speak at ‘Re-Evaluation’ Conference

Join Alison Brooks for her ‘Home Ground – Exploring the Civic Role of Housing’ lecture, as part of the ‘Re-Evaluation’ Conference.

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Join Alison Brooks for her ‘Home Ground – Exploring the Civic Role of Housing’ lecture, as part of the ‘Re-Evaluation’ Conference.

A collaboration between the International Academy of Architecture (IAA) and the Italian Pavilion at the 17th International Venice Architecture Exhibition, the digital event is set to offer an open exchange of visions and proposals towards a more communal future. Watch it here

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Cohen Quad, Exeter College, Oxford Wins 2 Education Estates Awards 2021

Our Cohen Quad, Exeter College, Oxford has won 2 Education Estates Awards 2021: Project of the Year – Universities and Inspiring Learning Spaces. Our project has also received a High Commendation for Client of the Year.

Our Cohen Quad, Exeter College, Oxford has won 2 Education Estates Awards 2021: Project of the Year – Universities and Inspiring Learning Spaces. Our project has also received a High Commendation for Client of the Year.

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Education Estates Conference 2021

Tue, 10/12/21 , 14:00
Manchester Central
Manchester Central

Alison Brooks and Professor Sir Richard Trainor, Rector of Exeter College, Oxford, will present the Cohen Quad at the Education Estates Conference 2021. Register here

Alison Brooks and Professor Sir Richard Trainor, Rector of Exeter College, Oxford, will present the Cohen Quad at the Education Estates Conference 2021. Register here

Tue, 10.12.21 , 14:00
Manchester Central
Manchester Central
When
Where
Manchester Central
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Alison Brooks to speak at the Kosovo Architecture Festival 2021

Fri, 09/17/21 , 18:00
Pristina, Kosovo
Pristina, Kosovo (map)

As part of this year’s edition of the Kosovo Arch Fest, Alison Brooks will be giving a keynote lecture at the ICK – Innovation Centre Kosovo. 

As part of this year’s edition of the Kosovo Arch Fest, Alison Brooks will be giving a keynote lecture at the ICK – Innovation Centre Kosovo. 

Fri, 09.17.21 , 18:00
Pristina, Kosovo
Pristina, Kosovo
When
Where
Pristina, Kosovo (map)
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Windward House wins 2 RIBA South West Awards 2021

Our Windward House has been named among the nine 2021 RIBA South West Regional Awards winners. The house was also announced as the South West region’s Building of the Year 2021.

Our Windward House has been named among the nine 2021 RIBA South West Regional Awards winners. The house was also announced as the South West region’s Building of the Year 2021.

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Alison Brooks Architects wins Cambridge College competition

Alison Brooks Architects has been commissioned by Homerton College, Cambridge to design their new main Entrance Building and Children’s Literature Resource Centre, after winning a two-stage design competition.

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Alison Brooks Architects has been commissioned by Homerton College, Cambridge to design their new main Entrance Building and Children’s Literature Resource Centre, after winning a two-stage design competition.

The design brief asked for a new entrance appropriate to the size and ambition of the College; including a new Porters’ Lodge which both welcomes first-time visitors and meets the needs of resident students; and to expand the College Library, allowing it to host exhibitions as well as provide study space.

Alison Brooks Architects’ scheme is inspired by the Homerton College campus, its architectural eclecticism and its Arts & Crafts legacy. Our proposed building form is a three storey ‘cube’ with a wide single storey base that extends outward in four directions.

“We’re delighted with this opportunity to design Homerton College’s new Entrance Building and Children’s Literature Resource Centre as a welcoming ‘lantern’ and multi-purpose hub for the College’s communities. We’re very much inspired by Homerton’s campus, its arts and crafts legacy and we look forward to producing its first net zero mass timber building.” — Alison Brooks

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Architecture and Inequity: New Practices of Care

from Alison Brooks Architects joined the London Festival of Architecture & Royal Academy of Arts‘ ‘Architecture and Inequity: New Practices of Care’ symposium.

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from Alison Brooks Architects joined the London Festival of Architecture & Royal Academy of Arts‘ ‘Architecture and Inequity: New Practices of Care’ symposium.

Bringing together original research that considers the systemic inequalities in our cities and proposes positive approaches that explore the built environment from a critical perspective, the panel discussed inclusive design strategies and explored how architecture can accept difference.

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Future Assembly | The Umbrella Islands

In addition to ‘Home Ground’, we have also contributed to Future Assembly, an exhibition in the Giardini’s Central Pavilion as part of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition. Curated by Olafur Eliasson’s Studio Other Spaces, the work explores the value system of the United Nations and imagines new futures for how we can collaboratively come together.

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In addition to ‘Home Ground’, we have also contributed to Future Assembly, an exhibition in the Giardini’s Central Pavilion as part of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition. Curated by Olafur Eliasson’s Studio Other Spaces, the work explores the value system of the United Nations and imagines new futures for how we can collaboratively come together.

Today, as humankind faces a devastating pandemic and a triple planetary crisis – climate change, biodiversity loss and severe degradation of air, land and water – we need to end our war on nature and begin to act more holistically to secure the health of the species, ecosystems and resources with which we coexist and on which our survival depends.

This ‘Future Assembly’ exhibition calls on all of us to re-imagine new pathways for our global governance architecture and to strengthen multilateralism so that it is more networked and inclusive. At this pivotal moment for people and planet, the United Nations is determined to work with all partners to uphold our shared values, navigate common challenges and seize the opportunities of the century ahead.’

– António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

 

The installation ‘The Umbrella Islands’ is inspired by Alison Brooks’ annual pilgrimage to the Umbrella Islands of Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada. Part of the Canadian Shield, it is a four billion-year-old landscape and the largest area of Archean Era rock that is still visible at the Earth’s surface. The installation consists of four 63.5mm diameter core samples from this ancient rock formation, set in timber trays to offer a sensory sampling of the Shield, embodied by the Umbrella Islands. To accompany this are geological maps of the islands and a selection of Alison Brooks’ personal photographs that reveal the haunting beauty of the islands. It is the direct connection to an Archaean Era environment and the incomprehensibly long timeframe that the rocks have witnessed that makes the experience of visiting the Umbrella Islands so powerful.

Installation photo: Gerdastudio

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Home Ground | Biennale Architettura 2021

Excited to share ‘Home Ground’, our contribution to the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, curated by Hashim Sarkis.

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Excited to share ‘Home Ground’, our contribution to the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, curated by Hashim Sarkis.

Situated in the Arsenale, our installation responds to the question ‘How will we live together?’ with a monumental table into which sixteen architectural models are cast as a participatory ‘conversation piece’. ‘Home Ground’ explores how housing defines the way we live together in cities; as households, and by shaping collective ground. It combines models of Alison Brooks Architects’ current housing projects from locations across the world. The installation reflects upon the nature of ground floor communal spaces in housing architecture as both thresholds to the private realm of the home and gathering spaces, where new communities can form. 

Photography: Gerdastudio
Fabrication: Base Models

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ABA on winning masterplan team for Thamesmead Waterfront

ABA is absolutely delighted to be part of the Prior + Partners / Arup winning masterplan team for Thamesmead Waterfront.

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ABA is absolutely delighted to be part of the Prior + Partners / Arup winning masterplan team for Thamesmead Waterfront.

Looking forward to getting started with LendleasePeabody, Thamesmead’s communities and our inspirational colleagues: Turner.WorksMarc Koehler ArchitectsSchulze+GrassovWest 8SoundingsThe Place BureauSage Culture Art Gallery & Projects, JA Projects.

Follow the link to learn more → https://bit.ly/3vxg7rR

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Yinka Ilori MBE unveils brand new artwork for Heart of Hale

Delighted to see Yinka Ilori‘s brand new artwork animating Tottenham Hale’s newest creative neighbourhood and ABA’s 1 Ashley Road project, currently on site.

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Delighted to see Yinka Ilori‘s brand new artwork animating Tottenham Hale’s newest creative neighbourhood and ABA’s 1 Ashley Road project, currently on site.

Titled “As you pass me by, know that it is nothing but love from me”, the public installation is part of Yinka’s role as the official Artist in Residence for Argent Related ‘s landmark scheme, Heart of Hale, in Tottenham Hale’s regeneration area. Learn more about the collaboration bit.ly/3nrV07y

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Cohen Quad Exeter College, Oxford is a Civic Trust Awards Winner 2021

Alison Brooks Architects is delighted that the Cohen Quad, Exeter College, Oxford has won a 2021 Civic Trust Award at the 5 March ceremony.

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Alison Brooks Architects is delighted that the Cohen Quad, Exeter College, Oxford has won a 2021 Civic Trust Award at the 5 March ceremony.

Thank you Civic Trust Awards and congratulations to all award winners. Delve into the announcement and explore the winning projects.

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13 Feb | Telegraph Luxury Magazine

This week’s Telegraph Luxury Magazine features Alison talking to Caroline Roux alongside other ground breaking female architects –  Farshid Moussavi, Eva Jiricna, Stephanie Macdonald, Jee Liu and Sadie Morgan.

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This week’s Telegraph Luxury Magazine features Alison talking to Caroline Roux alongside other ground breaking female architects –  Farshid Moussavi, Eva Jiricna, Stephanie Macdonald, Jee Liu and Sadie Morgan.

“Last year Alison Brooks completed one of the UK’s most stunning private houses, in the Wye Valley. She added a black-clad extension to an 18th-century farmhouse, and inside has created the ideal setting for her client’s huge collection of tribal artefacts. ‘It’s been a 10-year project,’ she says. ‘It’s amazing to work so closely with a client, because you are telling their story. But I bring the same care to social housing. I’d never design anything I didn’t want to live in myself.’

Brooks has built theatres, galleries, and was the first woman to design a major addition to an Oxford college. The Cohen Quad at Exeter College, completed in 2019, is an extraordinary S-shaped building with internal cloisters composed of spruce fins.”…

Photographs by Tereza CERVENOVA Styling by Tara GREVILLE

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