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The Royal Academy is open – and we’re so happy to see you again! Find out what’s on and don’t forget to pre-book your tickets.

Knock nothing down

12 June — 26 August 2019

This exhibition is now closed

See upcoming exhibitions

To demolish or not to demolish? This free display is an opportunity to explore a selection of past and upcoming projects by late architect Will Alsop RA and his practice, aLL Design, which reimagine new cities above existing ones.

According to late architect Will Alsop RA, every building contains references, memories and meaning for many people and as such should be loved, reworked and kept. Demolishing wasn’t an option for him, unless a building was physically dangerous. He didn’t consider this as a heritage mission but a point of humanity. His response was to lift new buildings above existing ones, so both old and new could co-exist in dialogue with each other and preserve the memory of a place. Some of his most acclaimed projects followed this strategy, such as the celebrated Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) and the RIBA Stirling Prize-winning Peckham Library in London. In 2011, Will Alsop established aLL Design, a practice that merges art and architecture to make life better for people, and proposes buildings that follow his design ethos ‘knock nothing down’.

The Architecture Studio will be transformed into a working space inspired by Alsop’s own studio and design thinking, featuring never-seen-before documents of OCAD alongside two upcoming projects by aLL Design in London and Cambridge. From preparatory drawings and models to archival documents and a full-size prototype, explore three case studies created by Will Alsop and aLL Design, and contribute your own ideas to reimagine new cities above the existing one.

12 June — 26 August 2019

Daily 10am – 7pm
Friday 10am – 10pm

Free, no booking required

The Architecture Studio, The Dorfman Senate Rooms, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts