British architect Will Alsop, who passed away this week, sought to push the boundaries of architectural possibility. Here we take a look at eight of his unrealized designs, which demonstrate his ambitious approach.
Architecture is in fact an abstract kind of music. Somthing that is imaginary but at the same time can be materialized.
Alsop first came to the attention of the architecture world when he entered the competition to design the Centre Pompidou aged 23. His proposal was the runner-up to Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano’s winning design. Describing the project in a tribute after Alsop’s death, Norman Foster said: “The undulating ground plane of the scheme echoed an inherent playfulness that would go on to become the hallmark of his work.”
Perhaps the most well-known of Alsop’s unbuilt projects is his design for a “fourth grace”, to be built on the Liverpool waterfront alongside the Three Graces. Alsop’s ambitious cloud-like design was named the winner of a competition for the site in 2002, beating a high-profile shortlist of Foster, Rogers and Edward Cullinan. However, the project was abandoned in 2004, with the Mann Island Development, including 3XN’s Museum of Liverpool, eventually being built instead.
In the 2000s, Alsop designed a series of radical proposals to regenerate cities in the north of England. Chosen by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward to rejuvenate Barnsley in 2002, he proposed turning its centre into a futuristic interpretation of a Tuscan hill town. Modeled on the the walled town of Lucca, Alsop’s plan encircled the town centre with a series of blocks that would house 100,000 people and would be connected by an aerial walkway.