Nonconformists have a crucial role in shaping British architecture, says the curator of a new Royal Academy exhibition on the work of 12 “maverick” architects.

The exhibition Mavericks: Breaking the Mould of British Architecture is on show at London’s Royal Academy.

In the gallery and accompanying book, curator Owen Hopkins presents an alternative history of British architecture that focuses on the frequently controversial and often radical work of architects including John Soane, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Zaha Hadid and FAT.

These architects are classed as mavericks because of their unique style, larger-than-life personality or nonconformist approach – qualities Hopkins says contemporary British architecture needs more of.