Architect reveals that claim he left his former practice to focus on painting was a smokescreen

Will Alsop's announcement in August claiming he was leaving the profession to take up painting, was a smokescreen for his move to a rival practice, the architect has revealed.

Alsop said in the summer he would be leaving the firm that bore his name after 30 years, because he needed time to pursue his painting.

Rumours had circulated that he was disillusioned with his practice after it was sold to larger company Archial in 2006, when Alsop ran into financial difficulties.

But yesterday, the Stirling prize winner admitted his claim about wanting to focus his time on painting had not been entirely truthful, as he revealed he had moved to RMJM. The studio will be called “Will Alsop at RMJM”

He told The Times: “You have to understand that at the time I was not in a position to say what I really thought.”

Alsop said he would paint while working for RMJM and that he hoped his abstract designs would be incorporated into building designs.

“I'm trying to do a beautiful painting,” he told the newspaper. “But I'm trying to think what we can do with a project. You can take a photograph of the painting and turn it into a building. There are no rules.”

He added that he wanted his designs to provide relief from “bloody awful buildings” created by other architects. He said he also had sympathy with Prince Charles' opinions on certain modern architecture.

Commenting on his new post, Alsop said: “Over recent years, I have come to admire RMJM's vision and the way it has embraced the current economic climate by expanding into new and emerging markets. I'm very excited to be working once again in a truly international capacity.”

RMJM has been expanding into new territories overseas in recent months, including new operations in Istanbul, Tripoli, Bahrain and Doha.

Alsop will continue to act as a consultant to Alsop's until 1 February.