Will Alsop
Courtesy Malcolm Crowther via Wikimedia Commons Will Alsop

Known for his use of color and unorthodox forms, modernist British architect Will Alsop died on Saturday following a short illness, his firm, ALL Design, announced today. He was 70 years old.

"Will has inspired generations and impacted many lives through his work," wrote ALL Design co-founder Marcos Rosello on the firm's website. "It is a comfort to know that due to the nature of Will's work and character, he will continue to inspire and bring great joy."

Born in Northampton, England, Alsop graduated from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London in 1973. At 23, he entered the design competition for the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and famously came in second to the ultimate winners, Richard Rogers, Hon. FAIA, and Renzo Piano, Hon. FAIA. Over his 40-year career, Alsop founded six firms and spearheaded such eye-catching projects as the Sharp Centre for Design at OCAD University (formerly the Ontario College of Art and Design) in Toronto, and the Hôtel du Département des Bouches-du-Rhône (also known as "the Big Blue") in Marseille, France. In 2000, he was awarded the Stirling Prize for the inverted L-shaped Peckham Library, in London, which he designed while in a partnership with Jan Störmer.

In 2011, Alsop founded ALL Design with Marcos Rosello. He was a professor of architecture at the Vienna University of Technology and the Canterbury School of Architecture in Canterbury, England.

"Nobody who has been to the Peckham Library, to the North Greenwich tube station, to the Sharp Centre for OCAD in Toronto or the Blizard Building at QMU—to name but a tiny handful of his buildings—could walk away without feeling a sense both of awe and amusement at the playful and inquisitive sensibility that they displayed," writes his son-in-law Alexander Larman in an obituary. "This is equally true of his art."

The architecture world has already taken to social media to mourn the loss: