Will Alsop: A Sense of Enquiry

From December 2009 to May 2010 The Nightingale Project – of which he is a patron – presented the first London exhibition of Will Alsop’s paintings since 2002.

Will Alsop is one of Britain’s most prominent architects. He has designed buildings in numerous countries, including the Sharp Centre for Design in Toronto, the ferry terminal in Hamburg, and the regional government building in Marseille, known as ‘Le Grand Bleu’. In the UK his buildings include Peckham Library (for which he won the Stirling Prize in 2000), and the acclaimed ‘Chips‘ building in Manchester.


Painting famously plays a crucial role in Alsop’s creative process – some of his building designs begin as a splash of colour on paper or canvas. From December 2009 to May 2010 The Nightingale Project – of which he is a patron – presented the first London exhibition of his paintings since 2002.

Will Alsop says: ‘The works in this show are all made with a sense of enquiry. It is not always necessary to know what one is enquiring into. It is the work that dictates a direction. All the artist can do is start. Some of my paintings result in buildings and some do not – or at least at the moment. I am interested in what happens when there is no intention. Some of the drawings/paintings are made from the residue of making others. I make no distinction between art and architecture. To me they both begin in the same place.’
Stephen Bayley said in the Observer: ‘Alsop has a ludic approach to building designs: often his designs start as paintings. His pictures are full of colour and a tipsy bravura. These images feed into his architecture.’