Greenwich Peninsula towers receive planning

Planning permission has been granted for our ambitious new residential scheme designed for Knight Dragon’s Greenwich Peninsula development.

The design comprises 400 residential units within a cluster of 4 residential towers of varying heights, with co-work and leisure space at ground floor and podium level. A colonnaded plinth connects all these elements, forming a generous communal garden. The scheme sits in a prominent location along the eastern edge of the site’s Central Park, which will itself be a focal point for the community in the great tradition of London garden squares.

Appearing as if carved from a single block, the four buildings radiate in plan, responding to the curve of the park edge opposite, while maximising views of the area and river. The metal lattice expression of the towers and their tapering forms were inspired by the industrial heritage of the local area; the gas holders and cast iron clad chimneys of Greenwich Power Station.

The two towers – 28 and 17 storeys – on the south west of the site, face directly onto Central Park. Two lower buildings of 12 and 5 storeys are located to the north east of the site. Collectively, the towers will provide high quality and fully accessible homes with a variety of types and tenures. Each building has 360 degree views, colonnades, roof gardens and co-working spaces.

Alison Brooks commented, “We’re delighted to be working with Knight Dragon and that our designs received unanimous consent from the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Our intention was to create a robust, adaptable urban block with generous  proportions that reinforces the Peninsula’s cosmopolitan identity.”

Greenwich Peninsula is one of the largest regeneration projects in London. Situated in east London, in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and across the River Thames from Canary Wharf, it consists of seven new neighbourhoods masterplanned by Allies and Morrison.


The Smile shortlisted for three Architizer Awards

The Smile has been shortlisted as one of only five finalists in each of the Commercial Pop-Ups and Temporary, Pavilions and Architecture +Wood categories at the Architizer A+ Awards 2017.

Called ‘The Smile’ due to its upward curving arc shape, the pavilion was a hugely successful landmark project for the 2016 London Design Festival. ABA collaborated with The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and Arup to present the 136 m² tubular structure constructed entirely with cross–laminated American tulipwood. Arup’s Special Structures team in London described the project as ‘the most complex piece of CLT engineering in the world’.

The Architizer A+Awards is the largest awards program focused on promoting and celebrating the year’s best architecture and products. Its mission is to nurture the appreciation of meaningful architecture in the world and champion its potential for a positive impact on everyday life. The shortlist of five finalists per category has been nominated by an international jury of industry leaders from architecture, technology, art, fashion and design fields. The winners will be chosen by a public vote, opening today, March 14, and will be announced April 11. The awards culminate in a red carpet gala celebration in New York in May.

To vote in the Pop-Ups & Temporary category, click here.

To vote in the Pavilions category, click here.

To vote in the Architecture +Wood category, click here.

The Architizer A+Awards

Azure: 30 Must-Know Women Architects

Alison Brooks features among prominent UK and Irish architects on Azure Magazine’s international must-know list of women architects.

Azure states: ‘In honour of International Women’s Day, we present this list of 30 women architects from across the globe whose names (and works) everyone should know’.

‘Born in Ontario but based in London, England, Brooks has become one of the U.K.’s most acclaimed architects and the only one to have ever won the U.K.’s most prestigious prizes: the Stephen Lawrence Prize, the Manser Medal and the 2008 RIBA Stirling Prize.

Why you should know her: Brook’s Ely Court, a residential development in northwest London, is one of five finalists vying for the prestigious Mies van der Rohe Award this year’.

For the full list, click here.


Architects’ Journal: Ely Court only UK finalist for EU Mies Award 2017

‘Alison Brooks Architects’ RIBA Award-winning Ely Court in north west London is the only UK finalist chosen for the 2017 Mies van der Rohe Award.

The 43-home scheme in South Kilburn made the five-strong shorlist alongside a museum in Poland by BBGK Architekci; a house in Denmark by Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects; a museum in France by Rudy Ricciotti and a block of flats in the Netherlands by NL Architects and XVW architectuur.

In December it was revealed that 19 schemes from the UK had made it on to a 356-strong longlist for the prestigious pan-European award. These included FAT’s A House for Essex; MUMA’s Whitworth Gallery in Manchester; Caruso St John’s Newport Street Gallery in London;  DRDH’s Stormen concert hall and library in Bodø in Norway, and AL_A’s MAAT cultural centre in Lisbon.

The Mies van der Rohe Award, the biennial European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, is widely recognised as the highest accolade in European architecture and features a €60,000 (£51,000) top prize.’

Read more in The Architects’ Journal article here.

Architects' Journal

Ely Court selected as EU Mies Award 2017 finalist

ABA’s Ely Court has been selected as one of just five finalists from a shortlist of 40 for the prestigious 2017 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. Ely Court is a 43-dwelling mixed-tenure scheme for London’s South Kilburn Estate Regeneration Masterplan for Brent Council.

The European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe announced the five finalists at a press conference on 15th February at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion.

Stephen Bates, architect and Chairman of the Jury said: “Our instincts could be summed up by the words of Peter Smithson: ‘things need to be ordinary and heroic at the same time’. We were looking for an ordinariness whose understated lyricism is full of potential”. 

Malgorzata Omilanowska, art historian, former Minister of Culture in Poland and member of the Jury, said: “social housing, memory and the problem of context and new constructions in the old city centres have proven to be important to us as a Jury. The finalist works show the problematic of our time; what has happened in the last year reveals the really deep problem of populism and the lack of memory. These 5 projects show the problem that we face as citizens, not only as architecture specialists, but as members of today’s society.” 

Anna Ramos, Director of the Fundació Mies van der Rohe, said: “The Jury’s selection consolidates the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture—Mies van der Rohe Award as a strategic element by which to promote research into, debate on and dissemination of contemporary architecture in Europe. Issues such as collective housing, the complexity of the European city—both contemporary and historical—and the ability of architecture to create symbolic spaces provide us with the opportunity to extend the debate on the finalist works beyond architectural circuits, because they respond to the concerns of today’s European society.”

The Prize is awarded biennially to works completed within the previous two years. The principal objectives are to achieve a thorough understanding of the transformation of Europe’s built environment; to recognize and commend excellence and innovation in the field of architecture and to draw attention to the important contribution of European professionals in the development of new ideas, the clients who support them and the citizens that enjoy them. The Jury will visit the five works in April and the Prize Winner and the Emerging Architect Winner will be announced in Brussels on 16th May. The process will culminate with the Awards Ceremony on 26th May at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, marking several days of Open Doors throughout Europe during which sites of the shortlisted works will be open for visits by the general public.

The four other finalists are:

  • deFlatKleiburg, Amsterdam, by NL Architects and XVW architectuur, Amsterdam
  • Kannikegården, Ribe, by Lundgaard &Tranberg Architects, Copenhagen
  • Katyn Museum, Warsaw, by BBGK Architekci, Warsaw
  • Rivesaltes Memorial Museum, Rivesaltes/Ribesaltes, by Rudy Ricciotti, Bandol


EU Mies Award

The Guardian: To solve the housing crisis we need new ideas, not garden cities

In her article in The Guardian, Frances Holliss uses ABA’s Newhall Be as an exemplar of design for home-based work.

‘Few contemporary home-based workers live and work in conditions that suit them. But they could. Instead of building miserable cookie-cutter housing, the home and the workplace could be combined in all sorts of ways to make “workhomes”. These could be built with street-facing workspace, like Alison Brooks Architects’ prize-winning Newhall Be scheme outside Harlow…’

The Guardian