Common Cause, for Open City

Alison Brooks is a Trustee of Open City, a charity dedicated to the idea that architecture and urban design must make our built environment more accessible and inclusive to everyone. In this article, she discusses the post-covid 19 period with optimism.

The reset button being pushed by the pandemic is a chance for human culture to change for the better. ‘Times of crisis can bring out the best in people. Inevitably, they make us see the world through a new lens. This coronavirus pandemic is perhaps the first time humanity is seeing the world through a common lens. Suddenly we’re all on the same side, acutely conscious of our interdependence.’

Open City ‘Common Cause’ by Alison Brooks

Open City
Robert Park

Southwark Council and LHC ‘Fairer Futures’ Framework

We have been selected to Southwark Council, and LHC’s groundbreaking new architectural services framework for London. Over the course of the next four years, the Framework will administer architectural design contracts for a range of exciting public projects in the capital.

Alison Brooks have been selected in the categories of New Homes, and Education, Social Care and Community Projects. We are very excited by the potential for the Framework to delivery real design excellence in the procurement of public architectural contracts across London.

Leo Pollak, Southwark Council cabinet member for social regeneration, great estates and new homes, previously said the framework would engage a ‘new generation of designers’ in a bid to break with the ‘private gain over public good’ design culture of the past.

LHC regional manager Jennifer Castle said: ‘Through collaborative working, we designed the procurement process to attract the best architectural practices able to deliver innovative construction services to the public sector in London.’

Architects Journal ‘Southwark Framework’

Architects Journal
Robert Park

Home Ground, Biennale Architettura 2020

We are very happy to reveal that our contribution to the Biennale Architettura 2020 curated by Hashim Sarkis is called ‘Home Ground’. Responding to the theme of How We Live Together, and designed to encourage dialogue and debate it will feature in the As New Households section at the Arsenale from 29 Aug – 29 Nov. This is the fourth installation that Alison Brooks Architects has contributed to the Venice Biennale, and third in succession.

Housing defines the way we live together in cities; as households and by shaping collective ground. Each of our housing projects consciously frames urban space at street level. We also work to enliven it with sheltered and internal spaces where diverse communities can congregate in new kinds of ‘home ground’. By bringing disparate projects together in this installation we aim not for the ‘ideal city’ but rather one that reflects the contingencies and complexities that shaped each of them.

For a full list of participants visit the Biennale website

Robert Park

Victorian Society Lectures

Re-engaging with the Past: New Architectural Approaches In the third lecture of The Victorian Society winter lecture series The Victorian Society, in which Alison Brooks discusses the role of archetype as a critical physical and conceptual framework for human experience.

Alison will explained how she transforms these models into an experimental, culturally specific architecture. Works discussed include her seminal new Quadrangle for Exeter College, Oxford; a competition-winning scheme for York Castle Museum; a new Maggie’s Centre in Somerset; and a private house in Hampstead. Each of these projects engages in a dialogue with historic forms, materials and patterns in search of a contemporary iconography. The ongoing debate about how to adapt and reuse old buildings has reached an exciting stage. A new approach to reconciling old and new in architecture has emerged in recent years, one that is neither purely conservationist nor historicist but instead adopts a fresh, innovative approach. In this Victorian Society lecture series seven leading architects discuss this new trend and what it means in their work.

Wed, 01.29.20 , 18:30
The Art Workers' Guild
The Art Workers' Guild
The Art Workers' Guild (map)
Robert Park

The launch of Cadence, King’s Cross Central

Cadence, our pivotal building at the North of Lewis Cubit Park, has been officially launched at a press event today. New graphic hoardings have appeared across London promoting the residential sales.

Cadence, an architecturally striking urban landmark in London’s re-energised King’s Cross neighbourhood, will bring 103 private residential homes to the London housing market. 51 different spatial configurations for the apartments have been carefully crafted to provide flexible living to suit every individual with interior design led by Conran and Partners. In addition, 60 units will be managed by Pocket Living, offering design-led rental homes for middle-earning local workers who positively contribute to their community.

Please refer to the Cadence project page for more information


Robert Park

Governor General’s Medals in Architecture, 2020 Jury

Alison has had the great honour of being invited to the Jury to decide the recipients of the prestigious Governor General’s Medals in Architecture 2020. Organised by The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and the Canada Council for the Arts, these Biennial Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding design in recently built projects – big or small – by Canadian Architects.

The Governor General’s Medals in Architecture are among this country’s most prestigious and coveted architectural awards. The medals recognise excellence in the art of architecture. The jury will assess the architectural and artistic merit of the design, taking into consideration factors such: conceptual clarity; innovation and uniqueness; compatibility with the site; sustainable design; and detailing.

The 2020 jury members are:

  • Alison Brooks, Principal and Creative Director, Alison Brooks Architects, London, UK
  • Johanna Hurme, FRAIC, Architect and Co-founder, 5468796 Architecture, Winnipeg, MB
  • Renée Mailhot, MIRAC, Architect and Co-founder, La SHED architecture, Montreal, QC
  • David Theodore, MRAIC, Canada Research Chair in Architecture, Health, and Computation at the Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture, McGill University, Montreal, QC
  • Isay Weinfeld, Head Architect, Isay Weinfeld Arquitetura, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Robert Park