Will Alsop (1947-2018)

It was with great sadness that we learned that our Professor of Architecture, Will Alsop, passed away on Saturday 12 May following a short illness. An inspiring presence, he will be greatly missed by the UCA community and beyond. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family and friends.

A prominent architect, known for his buildings, his large-scale planning and urban design initiatives, as well as for his paintings, drawings and writings, Will was a leading authority in his field. Amongst other international awards, he won the prestigious Sterling Prize for his Peckham Library in 2000. In the same year, he was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts and made an OBE in 2001.

A life-long advocate for experimentation and invention Will was also an inspiring and generous teacher who held academic positions in the UK, the US, Australia, Germany and Austria. When Will joined UCA as Professor of Architecture in 2013, his ALL Design office in Battersea became a much-loved satellite of the Canterbury School of Architecture. Additional to hosting staff away days, student workshops and alumni events, Will regularly invited friends from his personal network of acclaimed architects and artists to give Multistory* Guest Lectures in the Doodle Bar and the adjacent Testbed 1 became a platform for our students to showcase their work in London.

Will strongly believed in the transformative power of architecture and the arts. When reviewing student projects, the question ‘where is the place to sit in the sun and to have a gin tonic?' was not uncommon, and he constantly reminded us that spaces and places, buildings and cities can and should be a source of beauty, delight and joy. Students and staff at Canterbury School of Architecture will miss Will’s unfailingly good company, his humour and his always truly humane voice. In an interview with the Observer, he once summed up his approach to architecture as follows: 'I like people. I hope it shows.' It did. Thank you Will!

Staff & students at UCA
Canterbury School of Architecture