Peter Cook (architect)

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Professor Sir Peter Cook RA
Peter in Kyoto Dec2010.jpg
Professor Sir Peter Cook in Kyoto, December 2010
Born (1936-10-22) 22 October 1936 (age 84)

Sir Peter Cook RA (born 22 October 1936) is an English architect, lecturer and writer on architectural subjects. He was a founder of Archigram,[1] and was knighted in 2007 by the Queen for his services to architecture and teaching. He is also a Royal Academician and a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the French Republic. His achievements with Archigram were recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2004, when the group was awarded the Royal Gold Medal.

Early life and education[edit]

Cook was born in Southend-on-Sea, Essex and studied architecture at Bournemouth College of Art from 1953–58. He then entered the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, graduating in 1960.[2]


Cook was a director of London's Institute of Contemporary Arts (1970-1972) and chair of architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London (1990–2006), and has been director of Art Net in London and curator of the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. He continues to curate, organise and exhibit around the world: in Seoul, LA and Cyprus, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris and Design Museum, London as well as in castles, sheds and garages.

He is a Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art, London. Cook's professorships include those of the Royal Academy, University College, London and the Hochschule fur Bildende Kunste (Städelschule) in Frankfurt-Main, Germany. Construction of his arts building, the Kunsthaus Graz (aka 'The Friendly Alien') in Graz, Austria (with Colin Fournier) brought his work to a wider public. In 2013 he (along with his studio CRAB) completed the Vienna Business and Economics University's new law faculty and Australia's newest school of architecture, the Abedian School of Architecture at Bond University on the Gold Coast.

Cook has also built in Osaka, Nagoya, Berlin and Madrid. He practices with Gavin Robotham as CRAB studio (Cook Robotham Architectural Bureau),[3] and is married to the Israeli architect, Yael Reisner.

Cook was awarded a knighthood in the Queen's 2007 Birthday Honours List, for services to architecture.[2] His first building in the UK, a new drawing studio at the Arts University Bournemouth was opened by Zaha Hadid in March 2016.[4]

Awards and honours[edit]

  • 1960 – Henry Florence Student A.A. (Building Centre research Scholar)
  • 1961 – Piccadilly Circus competition (Mention)
  • 1962 – Gas Council House Design (First Prize)
  • 1965 – Selected as one of "Young British Designers" Sunday Times exhibition
  • 1996 – Jean Tschumi Medal, International Union of Architects
  • 1969 – Grant awarded by Graham Foundation, Chicago, for Instant City
  • 2000 – Kunsthaus Graz, Austria (with Colin Fournier)
  • 2002 – Annie Spink Award, jointly awarded to David Greene (for contribution to architectural education) by the RIBA
  • 2002 – Royal Gold Medal (with Archigram) by RIBA
  • 2003 – Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the France Republic
  • 2004 – Finalist for Stirling Prize for Kunsthaus Graz (with Colin Fournier)
  • 2007 – Knighted in Queen's Honours' list (for services in architecture)
  • 2008 – Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art, London
  • 2010 – Mario Pani Award for Architecture, Mexico City
  • 2010 – Honorary Doctorate of Technology, Lund University, Sweden

Success in architectural competitions[edit]

  • 1970 – Monte Carlo Entertainments Centre (with Archigram)
  • 1990 – Solar Housing, Landstuhl, Germany (with Christine Hawley)
  • 1992 – Museum of Antiquities, Austria (with Christine Hawley)
  • 2000 – The Kunsthaus, Graz (with Colin Fournier)
  • 2006 – New Theatre Verbania, Italy (with Gavin Robotham)
  • 2009 – Faculty of Law (D3) and Central Administration (AD), Vienna Business and Economics University (with Gavin Robotham)
  • 2010 – 2nd prize in the Taiwan Tower international competition (with Gavin Robotham)
  • 2011 – Soheil Abedian School of Architecture, Bond University on the Gold Coast, Australia (with Gavin Robotham and Brit Andresen)[5]
  • 2013 – Finalist in the National Stadium of Israel (CRAB + POPULOUS)
  • 2013 – Finalist in the Gold Coast Cultural Precinct

Current appointments[edit]

  • Professor Emeritus at University College London
  • Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy of Arts
  • Life Professor at the Hochschule fur Bildende Kunste (Städelschule) Frankfurt-Main
  • Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art, London
  • Honorary Fellow of the Arts University Bournemouth
  • Member of the Hessische Architektenkammer
  • Member of the RIBA, Architects Registration Board (ARB)
  • Fellow of University College London


  • Archigram exhibition – 1994 onwards: Vienna, Paris, New York, London, Pasadena, Chicago, Milan, Hamburg, Seoul, Mito, Taipei, Winnipeg, Zurich, Cracow, Zaragoza, Brussels, Rotterdam.
  • Curator of Venice Biennale of Architecture British Pavilion 2004, Cyprus Pavilion 2006
  • Personal exhibitions – various dates: Los Angeles, Tokyo, Oslo, Berlin, Osaka, Frankfurt.


  • 1967 – Architecture: Action and Plan. London: Studio Vista.
  • 1970 – Experimental Architecture. London/New York: Studio Vista/Universal Books.
  • 1972 – Archigram. London: Studio Vista/Reinhold, Birkhauser
  • 1975 – Melting Architecture. London: Peter Cook, (published to accompany Art Net exhibition).
  • 1976 – Art Net The Rally: Forty London Architects . London: Art Net/Peter Cook, (published to accompany Art Net exhibition).
  • 1976 – Arcadia: The Search for the Perfect Suburb. London: Art Net/Peter Cook.
  • 1980 – (with Christine Hawley). Six Houses. London: AA Publications, (published to accompany exhibition at the Architectural Association).
  • 1983 – (with Barbara Goldstein). Los Angeles Now. London: AA Publications, (published to accompany exhibition at the Architectural Association).
  • 1985 – Peter Cook – 21 Years, 21 Ideas. London: AA Publications, (foreword by Banham, Reyner and narrative by Hawley, Christine; published to accompany exhibition at the Architectural Association).
  • 1985 – (editor with Olive Brown). Lebbeus Woods. London: AA Publications, 1985, (published to accompany exhibition at the Architectural Association).
  • 1987 – (with Christine Hawley). Cities. London: Fisher Fine Arts, (published to accompany exhibition at the Fischer Fine Arts).
  • 1989 – Peter Cook 1961–89. A+U.
  • 1991 – (with Rosie Llewellyn-Jones). New Spirit in Architecture. New York: Rizzoli.
  • 1993 – Six Conversations. London: Academy Editions, (Architectural Monographs Special Issue, No. 28).
  • 1996 – Primer. London: Academy Editions.
  • 1999 – Archigram. London/New York: Princeton Architectural Press (also in Japanese, German, Chinese)
  • 1999 – (with John Hedjuk and Helene Binet). The House of the Book: Building, Zvi Hecker. London: Black Dog.
  • 1999 – (with Neil Spiller). The Power of Contemporary Architecture. London: Academy Editions.
  • 2000 – Bartlett Book of Ideas. London: Bartlett School of Architecture.
  • 2001 – (with others). The Paradox of Contemporary Architecture. Chichester: Wiley-Academy.
  • 2003 – The City, Seen As A Garden Of Ideas. New York: Monacelli.
  • 2008 – Drawing: The Motive Force of Architecture. Chichester: Wiley.
  • 2014 – Drawing: The Motive Force of Architecture, Second Edition: Wiley


  1. ^ "About Archigram". The Archigram Archival Project. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  2. ^ a b "The Knighthood of Professor Peter Cook". University College London. 22 June 2007. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Cook Robotham Architectural Bureau, Home".
  4. ^ Alexander, Hawkins. "Zaha Hadid to open Arts University Bournemouth drawing studio designed by Sir Peter Cook". It's Nice That. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Peter Cook and Brit Andresen to design Bond University School of Architecture - Australian Design Review".

External links[edit]