Alsop Architects

will_alsop_alden.jpgWill Alsop. Photo by Jason Alden

By Eva Bjerring

Alsop Architects founded by William Allen Alsop - also known as British architecture's enfant terrible - is a London based architecture firm dedicated to modernist ideals and a high degree of user engagement.

London-based Alsop Architects was founded by William Allen Alsop (born 1947). Inspired by modernist masters architects Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe as well as English Neo-classist Sir John Soane, Will Alsop has developed a distinguished avant-garde version of modernist architecture.

He has in several media outlets been entitled number three in the hierarchy of British architects after Lord Richard Rogers and Norman Foster, ravaging alongside fellow avant-gardist Zaha Hadid. Others would argue that his epithet as British architecture's enfant terrible prevents him from stepping in as a natural heir to the throne of architecture.

What is certain is that his buildings almost always cause a stir in the local community, a result of his reluctance against anonymous architecture.

Alsop Architects operate by the principle that architecture should work as both a vehicle and a symbol of social change and renewal. His buildings are usually characterized by an industrial roughness, clear lines, bright color schemes, artistic boldness and imaginative forms and patterns breaking from the expected. Alsop's building designs are often developed from an extensive community consultation and user engagement, what some may refer to as 'the Alsop strategy of engagement'.

Will Alsop is internationally engaged, though with a heavy weight of projects in England and mainland Europe. The projects range from large-scale master plans and regeneration projects to small scale architecture. Alongside his architecture business Alsop is also a dedicated painter.

Will Alsop has been awarded the Stirling Prize in 2000, the 2003 Architect's Journal Award for Architecture, the 2003 and 2006 Civic Trust Award, the  2004 RIBA Worldwide Award and the RIBA Regional Award in 2006.

Due to financial struggle Alsop Architects was sold to the design conglomerate SMC Group in 2006. After several engagements Will Alsop set up a new practice named  All Design together with Scott Lawrie in 2011.

Chips exterior waterfront
Photo:Christian Richters
November 09, 2009 /

Alsop Architects
New Islington, Manchester, England

Quirky, bold and robust, "Chips" forms the first major development for Alsop's masterplan for New Islington, Manchester's Millennium Community.

Stratford DLR Station Exterior facade
Photo courtesy SMC Alsop
January 26, 2009 /

Stratford DLR Station
Alsop Architects
London, United Kingdom

With its sculpted steel canopy supported by cantilevered columns, considered use of lighting and bold color, the new Stratford DLR Station provides a distinctive, efficient and attractive replacement for its highly congested and restricted forerunner on the same site.

The Public exterior view front of building
Photo: Graham Peet
July 14, 2008 /

The Public
Alsop Architects
West Bromwich, United Kingdom

Contained within a simple rectilinear form, The Public was conceived as a "Box of Delights" offering a wide variety of spaces, forms, angles, curves, surfaces, vistas and atmospheres.

Palestra exterior facade
Photo: Christian Richters
February 05, 2007 /

Alsop Architects
London, United Kingdom

Palestra, located on Blackfriars Road at the junction with Union Street directly opposite the new Southwark underground station, is clad by a patchwork of colour, giving scale and texture to the facade.

Clarke Quay exterior view from above
Photo courtesy SMC ALSOP
October 23, 2006 /

Clarke Quay
Alsop Architects
Singapore, Singapore

Alsop's first major project in Asia, a dramatic redevelopment of the river front district of Clarke Quay in Singapore, gives the area a new identity and repositions Clarke Quay as a vibrant and attractive destination.

Sharp Centre for Design Photo: Richard Johnson/Interior Images
February 06, 2006 /

Sharp Centre for Design
Alsop Architects
Toronto, Canada

The elevated "table top" extension to the Ontario College of Art and Design, with its striking black and white pixilated skin and 12 multi-colored legs, stands 26 meters above the mixed Victorian and modern streetscape.

Blizard Building exterior facade by night
Photo courtesy Alsop Design Ltd.
November 21, 2005 /

Blizard Building
Alsop Architects
London, United Kingdom

With the Blizard Building, the design team aimed at creating an outstanding new building for the College, as well as a significant landmark and educational resource for the local community.

Fawood Childrens Centre exterior facade
Photo: Alan Lai/Alsop & Partners
June 06, 2005 /

Fawood Children’s Centre
Alsop Architects
London, United Kingdom

The vast shed-like enclosure contains brightly colored classroom units interspersed with protected external play areas.

Ben Pimlot building exterior building top
Photo: Roderick Coyne of Alsop & Partners
March 07, 2005 /

Ben Pimlott Building
Alsop Architects
London, United Kingdom

Ben Pimlott Building is already a local landmark by virtue of its iconic scribble sculpture.

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