Peter Cook (architect)

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Professor Sir Peter Cook RA
Cook in 2010
Born (1936-10-22) 22 October 1936 (age 87)
SpouseYael Reisner
ChildrenA. G. Cook

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, Cyprus, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Design Museum, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art,[3] 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.

Cook has built in Osaka, Nagoya, Berlin and Madrid. However it was construction of his arts building in 2003, the Kunsthaus Graz (aka 'The Friendly Alien') in Graz, Austria (with Colin Fournier), that brought his work to a wider public.

He practiced from 2007 to 2019 with Gavin Robotham at CRAB (Cook Robotham Architectural Bureau Ltd). In 2013 he completed the Vienna University of Economics and Business's new law faculty [4] and Australia's newest school of architecture, the Abedian School of Architecture at Bond University on the Gold Coast.[5]

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.[6] He also built the innovation studio at the Arts University Bournemouth, which was opened by Odile Decq in 2021.[7]

Cook currently practices with Erlend Blakstad Haffner and Branko Belaćević at CHAP (Cook Haffner Architecture Platform Ltd).[8] CHAP has offices in London, Belgrade and Oslo.

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
  • 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]

Kunsthaus Graz
Vienna University of Economics and Business (Department D3 and AD)
  • 1970 – Monte Carlo Entertainments Centre (with Archigram)
  • 1990 – Solar Housing, Landstuhl, Germany (with Christine Hawley)
  • 1992 – Museum of Antiquities, Austria (with Christine Hawley)
  • 2000 – 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)[9]
  • 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 – Six Houses (with Christine Hawley). London: AA Publications, (published to accompany exhibition at the Architectural Association).
  • 1983 – Los Angeles Now (with Barbara Goldstein). London: AA Publications, (published to accompany exhibition at the Architectural Association).
  • 1985 – Peter Cook – 21 Years, 21 Ideas. Chrisine Hawley; foreword by Reyner Banham. Architectural Association exhibition catalogue. London: AA Publications.
  • 1985 – Lebbeus Woods (editor; with Olive Brown); Architectural Association exhibition catalogue. London: AA Publications, 1985.
  • 1987 – Cities (with Christine Hawley); exhibition catalogue. London: Fisher Fine Arts.
  • 1989 – Peter Cook 1961–89. A+U.
  • 1991 – New Spirit in Architecture (with Rosie Llewellyn-Jones). 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 (with Japanese, German, and Chinese translations)
  • 1999 – Zvi Hecker, House of the Book (contributor, with John Hedjuk and Helene Binet). . London: Black Dog.
  • 1999 – The Power of Contemporary Architecture (with Neil Spiller). London: Academy Editions.
  • 2000 – Bartlett Book of Ideas. London: Bartlett School of Architecture.
  • 2001 – The Paradox of Contemporary Architecture (contributor). Chichester: Wiley-Academy.
  • 2003 – The City, Seen As A Garden Of Ideas. New York: Monacelli.
  • 2008 – Drawing: The Motive Force of Architecture. Chichester: Wiley. 2nd edition publiished 2014.
  • 2016 – Architecture Workbook: Design through Motive. Chichester: Wiley.
  • 2021 – Lives in Architecture: Peter Cook. London: RIBA Publishing.


  1. ^ "About Archigram". The Archigram Archival Project. Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  2. ^ a b "The Knighthood of Professor Peter Cook". University College London. 22 June 2007. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Radical visions: Peter Cook exhibition covers his long and influential career". riba journal. 4 February 2022.
  4. ^ "CRAB Studio designs new buildings for the Vienna University of Economics and Business". Wallpaper. 9 January 2014.
  5. ^ "CRAB Studio creates cave-like meeting rooms at Bond University architecture faculty". Deezen. 23 April 2014.
  6. ^ Alexander, Hawkins. "Zaha Hadid to open Arts University Bournemouth drawing studio designed by Sir Peter Cook". It's Nice That. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Peter Cook celebrates 85th birthday by unveiling second building at alma mater". BD Online.
  8. ^ "Cook Haffner Architecture Platform, Home".
  9. ^ "Peter Cook and Brit Andresen to design Bond University School of Architecture - Australian Design Review". 15 February 2011. Archived from the original on 14 September 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2011.

External links[edit]