AUB celebrated the 80th birthday of acclaimed English architect and Honorary Fellow of the University, Professor Sir Peter Cook RA, in its new multi award-winning Drawing Studio yesterday, designed by the Royal Academician himself.

The event, consisting of a lecture and drinks reception, honoured Professor Sir Peter Cook RA and his contribution to architecture and teaching throughout his career. The Drawing Studio at AUB is the first of its kind to have been built in the country for 100 years and is Professor Sir Peter Cook’s only building in the UK.

Based around the theme of ‘dreams’, the lecture charted Professor Sir Peter Cook’s career thus far and his concepts and ideas. He spoke about buildings ‘slithering,’ ‘melting’ and ‘flying’ in their architecture.

The lecture was attended by current students and alumni of BA (Hons) Architecture, Interior Architecture and Design and Modelmaking courses.

Professor Sir Peter Cook RA was a leading figure in the Archigram Group and was knighted for his contribution to British architecture and teaching in 2007. One of Professor Sir Peter’s most significant works from his time with the avant-garde group was The Plug-In City, a hypothetical fantasy city which has helped to inspire modern architects and urban thinking today.

As well as holding the title Commandeur de l’Ordere des Arts et des Lettres of the French Republic, Professor Sir Peter’s achievements with Archigram were recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2004 with the award of the Royal Gold Medal.

Professor Sir Peter Cook RA comments: “As an alumnus of AUB, I am deeply honoured that this university, where I learned my craft, is now home to my first building in the UK. The studio represents a fundamental recognition of the importance of drawing for all creative subjects.

When it came to the design of the studio I wanted to ensure I created a space which all students, from all disciplines – be it fashion design, graphic design, fine art, or architecture like me – could make use of and feel inspired in it.”

Professor Stuart Bartholomew CBE, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, AUB commented: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate the milestone birthday of such an inspiring and visionary architect. This beautiful building, Professor Sir Peter’s only one in the UK, is helping to inspire the next generation of creative individuals across the courses we offer.”

Professor Sir Peter Cook’s 80th birthday celebrations represent an important milestone for British architecture, design and learning.

The Drawing Studio was officially opened in March 2016 by the late Dame Zaha Hadid, who closed her speech by saying “I simply love this building.”