In late April 2014 the demolition of the existing buildings on the Walton Street site began. Wearing a high-vis jacket, safety goggles, protective gloves and a hard hat, Rector Cairncross struck a symbolic (and suitably destructive) first blow. Let the construction project begin!
Alison Brooks, principal and creative director of Alison Brooks Architects London, is recognised as one of the leading architects of her generation. Her work has attracted international acclaim for its conceptual rigour, sculptural quality and ingenious detailing.
Born in Ontario, Canada in 1962, she moved to London in 1988 after graduating with a B.E.S and B.Arch from the University of Waterloo. Founded in 1996, ABA’s work has been founded on research into the specific social, cultural and physical context of each brief, interpreted to respond directly to client needs while placing it within a broader cultural framework. This approach has produced an architecture of distinct identity, sensitivity to its users and relevance to its place.
Alison Brooks is the only UK architect to have won all three of the UK’s most prestigious awards for architecture: the Stephen Lawrence Prize, the Manser Medal and the 2008 RIBA Stirling Prize. With early private houses published worldwide and featured in the Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary Architecture, the practice is now undertaking arts, education, residential and urban projects across the UK and Europe.
Alison Brooks’ belief in the transformative social role of architecture underlies a commitment to housing and urban design. Her groundbreaking live-work residential development Newhall Be was shortlisted for the 2013 Stirling Prize and Supreme Winner of the Housing Design Awards. In 2012 Alison Brooks and her team were awarded Architect of the Year and Housing Architect of the Year. She was awarded 2013 Woman Architect of the Year by the Architect’s Journal in recognition of her work in housing, regeneration and education. Civic projects completed by the practice include the Quarterhouse Performing Arts Centre, Folkestone, recipient of an 2009 RIBA Award and named Kent’s Best Public Building.
Alison Brooks is member of government advisory panel the Farrell Review of Architecture and the Built Environment, is a CABE/Design Council National Design Review Chair and Trustee of Open-City. As a member of the RIBA Awards Group she was juror for the 2011 Stirling Prize, the 2010 Lubetkin Prize. She taught at the Architectural Association as Diploma Unit Master from 2008-2010, and served as External Examiner at the Universities of Bath and Lincoln. She is currently External Examiner at the Architectural Association and the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.
The practice’s urban research projects include the 2010 Audi Urban Future Award; ABA’s City of Collaborative Mobility was exhibited at the VIth Venice Architecture Biennale and the New York Festival of Ideas for the New City. Alison Brooks lectures internationally on architecture and urbanism and will be publishing the book Synthesis: Culture and Context in early 2015.
We are delighted to launch our new blog site dedicated to the development of Exeter’s third quadrangle, Cohen Quad, on Walton Street.
We will be blogging regularly from the Development Office as the building takes shape. Do sign up for updates on the bottom right-hand corner of this page.