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Azman beats 50 practices to design RIBA's private members' bar at Portland Place

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Azman Architects has won the competition to design a new private members' café/bar at the RIBA headquarters at Portland Place, it was announced this week.

The shortlist - which was picked from more than 50 expressions of interest - also included acq Architects, Blauel Architects and Universal Design Studio.

In addition to its use as a café and bar, it is anticipated that the space, which has already been dubbed the 'Ribar', will be used to promote architecture to all visitors of the building.

During the day, the bar, which will be housed in a space currently taken by the bookshop, will be open to all Portland Place visitors, but in the evening it will be reserved for RIBA members, their guests and all those that visit events at the institute.

Commenting on the winning design, judge Simon Allford said: 'Each of the four shortlisted schemes had a spirit that made it very difficult to choose. I like the simplicity and clarity of Azman's design proposal.' RIBA president George Ferguson added: 'It was a tough decision, but I particularly enjoyed the winning architect's thinking behind the project, the thoughtfulness behind the transformation between daytime café and evening bar use, and the transparency and flexibility of the proposal.

'I have high hopes of Azman developing its sketch proposal into a scheme of real quality, that is thoroughly contemporary but respects our great building, ' he continued.

The contest was sponsored by Somfy Dynamic Facade Solutions and was organised by RIBA Competitions Office.

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