Architect Will Alsop dies aged 70

Tributes from around the world have poured in for the British architect and artist Will Alsop, who died on Saturday (12 May) aged 70 following a short illness.

Alsop – who once stated that “architecture is the only profession that actually deals in joy and delight” – was known for his bold, colourful and often avant-garde buildings, including Marseille’s bright blue Hotel du Departement; the Ontario College of Art & Design; and Peckham Library in London, for which he won the Stirling Prize in 2000.

He was also known for his imaginative, controversial and often unrealised city masterplans, such as a proposal to flood the centre of Bradford, or to remodel Barnsley in the theme of a walled village in Tuscany. As a respected columnist and academic, he was a strong advocate for a bolder and brighter approach to design. In an interview with CLADglobal last year, he said: “Architecture is about ideas and thoughts and examining things. Sometimes you’re lucky and find something quite new, but the climate we have at the moment goes against that. People get very afraid of failure, and that prevents them from trying new things. I don’t care about that though!”

Alsop graduated from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London in 1973, and worked for a time with the pioneering Cedric Price. Over four decades he founded six different firms, and in 2011 he established aLL Design, whose projects include the sculptural, recently-completed Pioneer Village and Finch West subway stations in Toronto.

In a statement, the studio’s co-founder Marcos Rosello said: “Will has inspired generations and impacted many lives through his work. It is a comfort to know that due to the nature of Will's work and character, he will continue to inspire and bring great joy.

“He had an exceptional ability to recognise particular strengths in individuals which he would draw out and nurture. His design ethos, essentially to 'make life better', is evident in the architecture of his buildings and their surrounding communities.

“On behalf of the studio we send our condolences to Sheila, Will's wife, and to his three children, Ollie, Piers and Nancy. Our thoughts are with them. We will miss him greatly.”

The profession pays tribute

In a moving tribute, Alsop’s son-in-law Alexander Larman, wrote: “He had a sense of vitality and bonhomie that infected everything he did, whether it was his architecture, his painting or his life with family and friends. Being ‘the life and soul of the party’ can often be an imposition, a sense of having to play a part, but for Will, any room that had him in was instantly a brighter, warmer and friendlier place.”

In a post on Twitter, designer Adam Nathaniel Furman said: “So incredibly sad to hear of Will Alsop’s passing, one of our great creative spirits. It has recently been fashionable to ridicule his work, I hope there can be pause from the easy snarking now to reflect on a career that very much enriched our architectural culture.”

The architect Charles Holland posted: “I think Will’s work invigorated and energised British Architecture and challenged it’s more tedious tendencies towards piousness. His buildings were formally bold, thoroughly audacious and huge fun.”

Many other colleagues, friends and peers have also been posting their tributes and memories to Will Alsop.

Will Alsop 
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6328     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6328     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Fashionizer Ltd
Fashionizer is an international designer of bespoke uniforms for luxury hotels, resorts and spas. We design and manufacture high quality, stylish uniforms that fully reflect the atmosphere and brand values of each property.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
Archaeological relics will be stored and exhibited at the museum
Theoni Xanthi Partner XZA Architects
"The design concept is to create a museum that evokes a transition in time, in space, in memory"

The vision for the New Cyprus Musuem

The aim is to promote sport via learning and engagement
"Whenever you’re looking at it, the elevation is running away from you, so it never looks quite as big as it really is "

FaulknerBrowns’ Dutch sports facility

The final phase of the Governors Island park project opened in July 2016, with sloping landscapes offering views of New York Harbor
Adriaan Geuze
"The profile of landscape architecture has been raised by international cities competing with one another"

How the West 8 founder is using the healing power of nature on a Korean site with a turbulent history

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The renovation has restored links with adjoining buildings, and with  Antwerp Zoo
"It’s a privilege to have completed a scheme of such importance to the cultural identity of Antwerp - Stuart Mills"

SimsponHaugh’s latest project

The Fangshan Tangshan Museum
Decq has been recognised for raising the profile of women in architecture
"Things have improved, but not enough"

On women in architecture

Designs for the Museo Nacional del Peru by Luis Longhi
Schreibeis Smith set up Vera Iconica Architecture in 2010
"Wellness is essentially an insurance policy to promote physical and mental long term health"

Raising the profile of wellness architecture

features
Lund has worked as a designer for Soho House since 2014. She co-led the design of The Ned
"My favourite part of the building is the original bank vault, in the belly of the building. It once stored gold bullion deposits of £335m"

On the challenges of creating The Ned

Ten Trinity Square is the former headquarters of the Port of London Authority
Ed Ng
"Of all hospitality design, we feel that F&B is the most fun. You can be creative and it’s where you get all the limelight"

When ABConcept’s co-founder got The brief for the Four Seasons’ Mei Ume restaurant, he jumped straight on the plane to London. He tells us why

The Smile represented an opportunity to make experimental design accessible, says Brooks
Alison Brooks
"The profession is changing"

We need to help the public understand that architects are on their side, argues The Smile designer

cladkit product news
Parkside opens flagship Chelsea showroom
The showroom is designed to inspire its clients
Lauren Heath-Jones
Parkside, a designer of contemporary porcelain and ceramic tiles, has opened its first showroom in the UK. Located in Chelsea ...
London's new pollution-eating living wall has air purifying power of 275 trees
CityTree is a living wall that reduces particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide in the air by 30 per cent
Lauren Heath-Jones
The Crown Estate, a London-based commercial real estate company, has partnered with Westminster City Council and cleantech specialist Evergen Systems ...
Hotel Crescent Court opens new spa following multi-million-dollar renovation
Hotel Crescent Court has reopened its spa after a multi-million dollar refurbishment
Lauren Heath-Jones
Hotel Crescent Court, a luxury hotel in Dallas, Texas, has reopened its spa and fitness centre after completing a multi-million-dollar ...
cladkit product news
Kvorning wins contest to design aquaculture exhibit at Norway's Coastal Museum
The exhibition explores the history of Norway's fish-farming industry dating back to 1970
Lauren Heath-Jones
Copenhagen-based design studio Kvorning Design and Norwegian advertising agency Vindfang have won a competition, organised by Museums in Sør Trøndelag ...
Ben van Berkel launches UNSense startup to boost health and wellbeing in built environments
Kim Megson
Dutch architect Ben van Berkel and his design firm UNStudio have launched a tech startup to “improve the health and ...
FAÇADE award winners 'diverse and remarkable', says SFE board member
Ramboll was awarded for the Blavatnik Building, Switchouse Extension of the Tate Moder
Lauren Heath-Jones
A trio of British leisure facilities have been honoured in the Façade2017 awards. Established in 2013 by the Society of ...
cladkit product news
Empex Watertoys partners with Singapore architecture firm on new splash park
Buds is a new splash park that caters to children aged 12 and under
Lauren Heath-Jones
Empex Watertoys has partnered with Singapore landscape architecture firm Playpoint Singapore Pte to create Buds, an exciting new splash park ...
Dornbracht debuts Rainmoon wellness shower concept at  Salone del Mobile
Rainmoon is a multi-sensory wellness experience designed to revitalise and reinvigorate the user
Lauren Heath-Jones
Dornbracht, a German-based luxury bathroom specialist, has launched an innovative new shower experience, Rainmoon. Slated as the next generation of ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates