Will Alsop Calls it Quits for Architecture


While we hear (and report) weekly of a lot of trouble within the architecture industry, with lots and lots of unfortunately people getting laid off, it seems like something altogether new to see an early retirement of self creation. Such as it is with starchitect Will Alsop, who announced late last week that he will be hanging up his architect boots for the next little while and instead spend his time from here on out focusing on his painting. Alsop, you might recall, was a Stirling Prize winner back in 2000 for his Peckham Library (for which “he used his televised victory speech after receiving the Stirling prize to berate one of London’s most conservative planning authorities”) and was being considered for the title of “Design Tsar” in London just three years ago. But now, Alsop has seemingly reached his tipping point, no longer interested in fighting with clients, cities, and all others involved in the industry that brought him his fame, and will now move on to the painting he loves, until perhaps the desire to work with buildings again returns to him.

“I love architecture but one of the things that gets up my nose, particularly in London, is that doing anything is like pulling teeth,” he said.

“There are so many hangers on and architectural advisers who know nothing and it gets in the way. For example I am doing nothing for the London 2012 Olympics and it has got to the point where I don’t feel like asking so I don’t give them the satisfaction of saying no.”

Our theory is that Alsop was spoiled last summer and can’t imagine doing anything else with architecture anymore unless it involves jelly.