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British architects to be featured in Wolk Gallery exhibit

In 1984, London architects Robert Allies and Graham Morrison formed their own firm after winning a competition they'd entered while moonlighting from their jobs at another company. Since then, they've made a name for themselves in England by winning prominent commissions there. But the duo is not as well-known in the United States, says Associate Professor of Architecture Andrew Scott, a fellow Briton who is hosting events at MIT to raise awareness of their work.

Allies and Morrison, an exhibition of models, reliefs, line drawings and photographs, opens tomorrow (Thursday, Nov. 6) at MIT's Wolk Gallery, complemented by a Department of Architecture lecture by Mr. Allies at 6:30pm in Rm 10-250.

The extent of Allies and Morrison's completed work -- 22 projects in the last 12 years -- led to the organization of a two-year exhibition tour of American universities. MIT is one of eight stops on this tour, which is supported by the British Council.

The firm, which characterizes its work as low-key modernism, mixing modern detailing with traditional materials, has "based its success on unhurried growth, attention to detail, and an atmosphere of debate and discussion," wrote Elaine Knutt for the April 1997 edition of Building Awards.

"Allies and Morrison's work is beautiful, carefully crafted and very well-considered," said Professor Scott. "They do a very good job of representing and communicating their work, which isn't flashy and obtrusive, but substantial and elegant."

This past year, Allies and Morrison won an unprecedented three Royal Institute of British Architects awards, and the firm was voted "Up-and-Coming Architectural Practice of the Year" with its 10 current commissions funded by England's new National Lottery.

The exhibition is on view November 6 through December 15, and gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 9-5pm or by appointment. For more information, call x8-9106.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 5, 1997.

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