RIAI Conference 2017

October 6th & 7th | Royal Dublin Society

Alison Brooks

Alison Brooks is Principal and Creative Director of Alison Brooks Architects. She is recognised as one of the leading architects of her generation and has developed an international reputation for design innovation, as well as a voice advocating for the social project of architecture and the role of women in the profession. Named by Debrett’s as one of ‘Britain’s 500 Most Influential’, Brooks is the only British architect to have won all three of the UK’s most prestigious awards for architecture: the RIBA Stirling Prize, Manser Medal and Stephen Lawrence Prize. In 2012, Brooks and her team were awarded the BD Architect of the Year and Housing Architect of the Year accolades. In 2013, Brooks was named Woman Architect of the Year by the Architect’s Journal in recognition of her progressive work in housing, regeneration and education. Since establishing Alison Brooks Architects in 1996, her architecture has attracted worldwide acclaim for its conceptual rigour, sculptural quality and ingenious detailing.

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Her most significant civic commission to date, the 6000m2 Exeter College Cohen Quadrangle at the University of Oxford, will be unveiled in Autumn 2017. Brooks’ portfolio in large-scale regeneration includes the Stirling Prize-winning Accordia in Cambridge as well as Newhall Be in Harlow, Essex, and she is currently designing landmark buildings in King’s Cross and Greenwich Peninsula. Her work in Cambridge includes high-density urban housing at Severn Place, as well as multiple lots within the ambitious North West Cambridge Development. Her recently completed Ely Court housing project was shortlisted for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, the Mies van der Rohe Award.


Fintan O’Toole

Fintan O’Toole has been an op-ed columnist for the Irish Times since 1988. His column on political and social affairs appears every Tuesday. He also writes for the Culture Shock slot on Saturdays. A former literary editor of The Irish Times, he has written more than a dozen books; most recently he edited the book of the newspaper’s series Modern Ireland in 100 Objects. Awards include the AT Cross Award for Supreme Contribution to Irish Journalism.



Darron Haylock

Darron Haylock is a partner at Foster + Partners, experienced in leading design teams on high-profile educational, healthcare, residential and complex, multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder projects. At the RIAI Annual Conference he will discuss one of his recent projects, the Maggie’s Centre at the Robert Parfett Building in Manchester, which provides a welcoming ‘home away from home’ – a place of refuge where people affected by cancer can find emotional and practical support.

Maggie’s Centres place great value upon the power of architecture to lift the spirits and help in the process of therapy, and the design of the Manchester centre aims to establish a domestic atmosphere in a garden setting. Maggie’s in Manchester occupies a sunny site and is arranged over a single storey, keeping its profile low and reflecting the residential scale of the surrounding streets.  The roof rises in the centre to create a mezzanine level, naturally illuminated by triangular roof lights and it is supported by lightweight timber lattice beams.

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The concept of the Maggie’s Centre was developed by Maggie Keswick Jencks, who lived with advanced cancer for two years. During that time she used her knowledge and experience to create a blueprint for a new type of care. Maggie’s Centres are built around her belief that people should not “lose the joy of living in the fear of dying”. Built in the grounds of NHS cancer hospitals, Maggie’s Centres are places with professional staff on hand to offer the support people need. The first Maggie’s Centre opened in Edinburgh in 1996 and since then Maggie’s has continued to grow, with 20 Centres at major NHS cancer hospitals in the UK and abroad.

About Darron Haylock
Darron Haylock studied Architecture at De Montfort University, Leicester. He graduated with distinction and was awarded ‘Graduate Student of the Year’ for two consecutive years. He has worked at Foster + Partners since graduating and was made a partner in 2004. His first project at the practice was an R&D laboratory and office tower for Daewoo Electronics in Seoul. Following on from this project, Darron was the project director for the Hines Metropolitan Office Building in Warsaw, which was awarded the ‘Business Centre of the Year’ at MIPIM 2004. He also worked on the Thomas Deacon Academy in Peterborough which transformed education for 2200 pupils and is the largest of its kind in the UK. He was partner-in-charge of the West London Academy, the London Academy and Corby Academy, which opened in September 2008 as part of the government’s Academy Schools Programme.

Darron was the partner-in-charge of Circle Hospitals, with sites in Bath, Plymouth, Southampton and Manchester. These projects focussed primarily on wellbeing, patient care and designing environments which contribute to the early recovery of the patients. He is currently coordinating clinical requirements as partner for the Brain Sciences Building at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem while also working on other notable projects in Israel. Darron is also the partner responsible for projects in Luxembourg, most notably the mixed use development for Codic at the Royal Hamilius, Luxembourg, creating a new focal point within the city.




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