Alison Brooks to speak at OAA Conference in Niagara Falls

Alison Brooks will be speaking at the Ontario Association of Architects Conference on Thursday the 23rd of May. Her speech is entitled: “Social Equity and Future Heritage: Housing as Civic Building.”

Urban housing frames the space of our civic commons. It gives both form and identity to our streets and neighborhoods, and, at the same time, “home” provides the physical and cognitive framework through which we experience the world. Housing architecture therefore embodies a critically important relationship between the individual and the collective, the household and society. In the context of the biodiversity crisis, urban housing as civic infrastructure must also play a significant role in transforming the relationship of architecture to nature. The way we conceive, design, and construct housing must start to serve nature, not only humans.

For 25 years, Alison Brooks Architects London has made housing design a pillar of our practice: to restore its civic role as a generous, resilient frame for public and private life. We see housing as mixed-use places for productivity and work, and as places of resilience and adaptability over time. In this talk, Alison Brooks will outline the urban design policies, frameworks, and quality standards that support inclusive and resilient housing in the United Kingdom, and her context-inspired design strategies that have underpinned her work in the U.K. and internationally.

Pictured, The Western Curve, our practice’s tallest building to date—a 69-storey tower and education space at Waterfront Toronto is designed to re-establish local ecologies in Toronto’s emerging Dream & Great Gulf Quayside masterplan.

Thu, 05.23.24 , 14:00
Niagara Falls Convention Centre, ON
Niagara Falls Convention Centre, ON
Niagara Falls Convention Centre, ON
Declan Walker

Unity Place Receives Prestigious RIBA Award

Designed in collaboration with Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Gort Scott, our 100% affordable housing scheme for Brent Council, ‘Unity Place’, has been awarded a prestigious RIBA London Award.

“During the jury’s visit, residents expressed their delight with the project and their accommodation (…) This project shows how it is possible to provide high-quality, sustainable and affordable housing, embodying the local council’s commitment to elevating the standard of living for its social residents. Through community engagement, careful planning, selection of materials and, importantly, a willingness of the three architectural practices to share a common ambition, language, and goals, Unity Place has set a benchmark for future residential developments.” – RIBA Award Judges

See the full RIBA Journal article of the jury’s thoughts:

Declan Walker

Cadence: “A Welcome Sense of Adventure.”

Our residential courtyard-tower, Cadence, at King’s Cross for Related Argent was given special mention in this Sunday’s Guardian/Observer Newspapers. Rowan Moore highlighted Cadence via a thoughtful retrospective, as a key feature in the King’s Cross masterplan.

We applaud Camden Council, Related Argent and the countless talented individuals from various fields who have contributed to the overall project’s success. With over two decades of evolution, King’s Cross has been rightfully submitted for this year’s RIBA awards program.

“Alison Brooks’s building, standing at the end of a long vista, offers some of the vivacity that other buildings lack. It consists of a conjoined pair of red brick towers, one tall and central, the other off-centre and angled away from the prevailing right angles, with jiggered rhythms of windows and recessed balconies. Irregular arrays of arches appear at top and bottom, and at one or two places halfway up, that follow not purely circular Bézier curves, which have an ancient-futuristic, Saharan-Star Wars feel. They have a mannered bounciness, palpably not carrying much weight. In the foyers and on some of the upper floors, arches extrude into vaults, which with the twists in the plan and a small courtyard create intriguing layers of inside and outside space. It’s not that every building need be as complicated as this, but it brings a welcome sense of adventure.” – Rowan Moore

Photographs captured by Edmund Sumner

‘Nervous of its own boldness’: the (almost) radical rebirth of King’s Cross
Declan Walker

Sodertalje Sweden Finalist Proposal Revealed

Alison Brooks Architects, alongside BAU from Sweden, were one of four finalists shortlisted in a retrofit masterplan design competition focusing on the Luna block in Södertälje, Sweden.

The scheme was focused on re-working a 1970s concrete megastructure to re-imagine a more accessible and legible urban centre. Celebrating the Library and Gymnasium as civic anchors at the site’s most prominent edges, our proposal aimed to revitalize the city center by celebrating its diverse cultures, embracing its natural landscape, and enhancing its unique architectural charm. We were able to retain ~80% of the original structure while utilizing mass timber throughout to make our scheme an exemplar sustainable proposal.

Four our “Interwoven Luna” proposal, we were joined by landscape architects LARK from Norway; Linn Lindfred, a circular sustainability expert; and designers from Kvarteret K. We are immensely proud of our submission and the hard work of every team member. Congratulations CF Möller for their excellent winning proposal, “Heaven is our roof”.

To see our full submission, click here.

Declan Walker

TC 163 – Alison Brooks Architects

Our first practice monograph is now available for purchase! We’re proud to be collaborating with leading architectural publisher, TC Cuadernos, on their first monograph of a woman-led practice.

“The work of Alison Brooks Architects fuses an endlessly inventive architectural imagination with profound sensitivity to the diverse cultural and natural histories that form each project’s provenance. This ethos underpins the extraordinary array of nuanced and joyful works illustrated in this book, collectively described by Alison Brooks as ‘experimental archetypes’. This 386-page monograph charts eighteen built works completed in the past 20 years, extensively documented with descriptive texts, photographs, drawings and emblematic construction details that illuminate each project’s tectonic and conceptual intent.

The private houses in this book define Brooks’ early career and continue to be a test bed for experimentation. They illuminate her ability to conjure deeply human architectures of plasticity and informality. Organic geometries and expressive roof forms loosen cartesian boundaries to offer indeterminate spaces: these simultaneously act as a canvas for daily life, workplaces, or private art collections.

As the practice’s work has grown in scale, their urban housing schemes have been motivated by Brooks’ foundational belief that the architect’s duty to the city, and society, is to provide beautiful, sustainable, and accessible housing for all as a framework for individual and community well-being. This book reveals residential projects characterised by spatial generosity and a uniquely sculptural approach to form and material.

Alison Brooks Architects’ more recent educational and cultural projects emphasise architecture as a celebration of time, space, and light. Here Brooks interweaves spatial narratives with structural and material invention, exhibiting ever more sophisticated architectural languages and environments to engender new forms of social exchange.”


Order your copy here.

Declan Walker