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January 1st 1950, London, United Kingdom

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London, United Kingdom


Article last edited by Maria Thuroczy on
January 17th, 2013

Alison and Peter Smithson Change this

Change thisLondon, United Kingdom
est. 1950, London
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English architects Alison Smithson (22 June 1928 – 16 August 1993) and Peter Smithson (18 September 1923-3 March 2003) together formed an architectural partnership, and are often associated with the New Brutalism. Peter was born in Stockton-on-Tees in North-East England, and Alison was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. They met and married in 1949, while studying architecture at Durham University. Together, they joined the architecture department of the London County Council before establishing their own partnership in 1950.

They first came to prominence with Hunstanton School building which used some of the language of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe but in a stripped back way, with rough finishes and deliberate lack of refinement. They are arguably among the leaders of the British school of New Brutalism. They were associated with Team X and its 1953 revolt against old Congrès International d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM) philosophies of high modernism.

Among their early contributions were "streets in the sky" in which traffic and pedestrian circulation were rigorously separated, a theme popular in the 1960s. They were members of the Independent Group participating in the 1953 Parallel of Life and Art exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts and This Is Tomorrow in 1956.


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