William Allen Alsop (1947-2018)
Will Alsop was a British architect and Professor of Architecture at University for the Creative Arts's Canterbury School of Architecture. Alsop studied at the Architectural Association where at 23 he entered the competition to design the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and came second to the eventual winners, Richard Rogers & Renzo Piano. He worked briefly for Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew then joined Cedric Price for four years. After a short period with Roderick Ham, in 1981 Alsop set up a practice, Alsop & Lyall, with his classmate John Lyall in Hammersmith. Jan Störmer later joined the practice and a decade later, in 1991, the practice was renamed Alsop & Störmer after Lyall's departure. Alsop and Störmer divided into separate practices in 2000, with Alsop renaming the practice Alsop Architects.
Alsop was responsible for several distinctive and controversial modernist buildings which are usually distinguished by their use of bright colours and unusual forms. His first major commission was a swimming pool in Norfolk in 1984, followed by a visitor centre for Cardiff Bay. He worked on a number of projects in Germany, including the Hamburg Ferry Terminal. In 1992, Alsop won the competition to design the Hôtel du département des Bouches-du-Rhône in Marseille. The building was designed by Alsop and Störmer in collaboration with the architectural artist Brian Clarke with the completed building externally clad in Yves Klein blue glass. In 2000, Alsop won the Stirling Prize, the most prestigious architecture award in the United Kingdom, for the Peckham Library in London.
Shown in this gallery
The Mauritsweg project, rebranded ‘CalypSO’ was completed in 2013. It is a development of Rotterdam Centraal, the urban strategy scheme, undertaken between 2000 and 2001 by Will Alsop.
The quality of the public areas in particular have been considered with a two-tiered circulation space below the residential buildings; the lower below a transparent pavement traversing the upper, and connecting directly with car parking for 305 cars. The development takes the form of five “rocks” – structures which accommodate the apartments, retail area, commercial space and the church. The apartments provide a mix of differing forms and layouts, Alsop felt this imperative to creating a sense of identity for a large apartment block. The balconies are partly enclosed enabling year round use.
Not far from Centraal Station is one of the world’s most spectacular church buildings: the futuristic Pauluskerk by Dutch architect Will Alsop. Triangular windows allow light into the inside of this unorthodox, bronze-coloured construction. Specially customised HERTALAN® 3D sleeves were created for this project. To make the window frames wind and water-tight, the sleeves were installed and supplied to the construction site pre-assembled while the frames were being manufactured.
© Alan John Ainsworth Photography