‘I try to avoid styles and focus on ideas. The greatest work is always the result of a concept or an ideal that leads the design into uncharted territory.’ So says the formidable Brooks, who, since founding her practice in 1996, has become one of the world’s most sought-after architects; she was recently named as one of Britain’s 500 Most Influential people by The Sunday Times.
Her London-based studio has a portfolio ranging from one-off houses to education buildings, high-end residential developments and masterplans. ‘Each of our projects is unique in its concept and detail: our designs respond in a very specific way to each client, place and brief,’ she says.
Brooks has won numerous awards, including Architect of the Year and Housing Architect of the Year 2012 and is the only UK practice to have won the RIBA’s three most prestigious awards for architecture; but the greatest achievement of her practice so far, she says, was winning the commission for the Cohen Quadrangle for Exeter College at Oxford University which is due to be completed in early 2017.