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.