Alex de Rijke

Alex de Rijke is a founding Director of dRMM, having established the practice in 1995 with Philip Marsh and Sadie Morgan. He is a design champion at dRMM, responsible for the concept, construction and delivery of our timber projects. These include such diverse projects as Sliding HouseKingsdale School, Charlton WorkStackTower of LoveEndless Stair, WoodBlock HouseMaggie’s Oldham, and the Stirling Prize winning Hastings Pier.

Alex conducts ongoing research into contemporary materials, technologies and methods of construction. In 2006 he wrote, ‘Timber is the new Concrete’, and introduced cross-laminated timber to the UK with groundbreaking prefabricated buildings, Kingsdale School Sports Hall in London, and the Naked House prototype exhibited in Oslo. Through Alex’s leadership, dRMM has become recognised as a pioneer and authority on engineered timber design and construction, especially CLT (cross-laminated timber).

In 2013 de Rijke, alongside AHEC and ARUP, invented the first cross-laminated timber made from a hardwood and in the form of Endless Stair demonstrated its incomparable beauty, strength and sustainability in the LDF 2013 installation at Tate Modern. In summer 2017, construction will complete on dRMM’s Maggie’s cancer care centre in Oldham. A building that demonstrates a synthesis of concept, construction and user well-being; it is made entirely from tulipwood CLT and glass. The project reveals Alex’s total design ethos in its integration of landscape, architecture, furniture and art. Rijke has consistently combined cutting-edge practice with education. He advocates learning through experimentation and making, and his extensive experience includes teaching, lecturing and examining at many european schools of Architecture. From 2011-2015 he was Professor of the Masters programme and Dean of Architecture at the Royal College of Art. Alex is currently an External Examiner to the Design & Make timber programme at the Architectural Association, and a Visiting Professor to the Royal College of Art, London. He lectures internationally, presenting dRMM’s work from Scandinavia and Europe to Asia and Australasia. He has given conference papers on a range of themes including: engineered timber architecture and construction; prefabricated and mobile architecture; and the relationship between architecture and health.

Under Richard Roger’s former chairmanship, Alex de Rijke was a member of the Design for London Advisory Panel, and continues to contribute to design discussions at institutions such as the RIBA, ARCAM (Architecture Centre Amsterdam) and the Milan Salone del Mobile. Alex represents dRMM and the wider profession in the media through radio, TV appearances, and features in publications such as The Plan, Architectural Review, Dezeen and The Guardian.

With a parallel passion as photographer, Alex photographs for publications and exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale 2008 and 2012, and documents dRMM’s projects on an ongoing basis.