Alison Brooks

Principal and Creative Director

BES, BArch, Doc.Eng (Hon. Causa), RIBA, FRSA, RDI

Alison Brooks, Principal and Creative Director of Alison Brooks Architects, is one of the leading architects of her generation. She has developed an international reputation for a multi-award winning body of work since founding the practice in 1996. Born in Ontario, Canada in 1962, she moved to London in 1988 after graduating with a BES and BArch from the University of Waterloo.

Alison Brooks’ architectural approach emerges from broad cultural research, with each project expressing a specific response to place, community and landscape. This has produced a portfolio of projects of distinct identity encompassing urban design, housing, education and buildings for the arts. Her work has attracted international acclaim for its conceptual rigour, sculptural quality and ingenious detailing, best exemplified by the spectacular new Cohen Quadrangle for Exeter College, Oxford. The practice’s growing body of public work includes The Quarterhouse Performing Arts Centre, Folkestone and The Smile, the hugely successful Landmark Pavilion for the 2016 Design Festival which received over 30,000 visitors in just four weeks.

Alison has become a public voice for the profession advocating the role of housing as civic building, the resurgence of building craft and the use of timber in architecture. In 2017 Alison was appointed as a Royal Designer for Industry by the RSA and selected as Mayors Design Advocate for London. She was honoured with the 2017 AJ 100 Contribution to the Profession Award giving the keynote speech to the UK’s 100 largest practices.
Named in 2012 by Debrett’s as one of ‘Britain’s 500 Most Influential’, Alison Brooks is the only British architect to have won all three of the UK’s most prestigious awards for architecture: the RIBA Stirling Prize, Manser Medal and Stephen Lawrence Prize. She was awarded 2013 Woman Architect of the Year by the Architect’s Journal in recognition of her work in housing, regeneration and education.

Alison Brooks is a CABE / Design Council National Design Review Panel Chair and Trustee of Open-City. She was a member of The Farrell Review of Architecture and the Built Environment and the RIBA Awards group from 2010-15, where she was juror for the 2011 Stirling Prize and 2010 Lubetkin Prize. Brooks is currently External Examiner at the Architectural Association where she taught a Diploma Unit from 2008-2010. Alison lectures internationally on architecture and urban design. In 2016 she received an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering from University of Waterloo, Canada. In 2018 Alison was appointed as the John T. Dunlop Design Critic in Architecture at Harvard GSD and taught a Masters in Collective Housing at ETSAM, Universidad Politécnica of Madrid.

To mark 21 years since the founding of Alison Brooks Architects she published ‘Ideals then Ideas’; an overview of the practice’s work within conceptual, formal and material themes that have emerged over the past two decades.