Stirling Prize winner Will Alsop passes away

Stirling Prize winner Will Alsop passes away

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Will Alsop dies at the age of 70 after a short illness.

Voices from across the profession and beyond it have been paying tribute to the maverick architect whose work was characterised by bold use of unconventional shapes and colour.

Alsop won the Stirling Prize in 2000 for Peckham Library but was as well known for what went unrealised as for his built work. He proposed turning Barnsley into an Italian hill village and joining towns across the country into regional “supercities”. His design for Liverpool’s Fourth Grace was an extraordinary glass cloud on stilts dubbed the “diamond knuckleduster” which was canned by the council in 2004. But he worked around the world, notably China and Toronto, as well as in the UK where other buildings include North Greenwich Tube station, part of the celebrated Jubilee Line extension. 

Before establishing aLL Design, Alsop, who left school at 16 and was apprenticed to an architect before studying at the AA, founded six practices over 40 years. He was always full of surprises and when he claimed to be retiring to devote more time to his art he re-emerged at RMJM, which was at the time mired in controversy for the way it was treating its staff. After he left he castigated it for hiring disgraced banker Fred Goodwin. Alsop went on to lambast Allies & Morrison for championing “calmness, boredom, conformity, uniformity” – qualities he described as the enemy – and labelled Norman Foster “grey”.