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RIBA launches design comp for its own offices

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has launched a £2.7m design competition for the overhaul of its new offices at 76 Portland Place

The institute has just signed a long lease on the property close to both its famous Art Deco HQ at number 66 and its admin offices at number 77 which it vacates next year.

The RIBA said the design competition would seek an architect to ensure the new office was ‘..exemplary in its design and as environmentally sustainable as possible’.

The acquistion of the new office spells the end of number 77 and means all RIBA’s London-based staff will be housed under one roof, freeing up number 66 to become a building where RIBA said ‘staff and the public will experience, learn and debate architecture.’ 

The institute also announced that it has signed a lease on new premises at Mann Island in Liverpool by Broadway Malyan Architects. Opening in late 2014, the building will include a museum-quality gallery, in addition to offices for North West-based RIBA staff.

RIBA Chief Executive Harry Rich said: ‘We need to do this now because the lease of 77 Portland Place ends next year. But it is also a wonderful opportunity to bring all of our London team together into one well-designed space.’

Click here for further details on the RIBA Competition.

Readers' comments (5)

  • I am appalled by the terms of this competition. After all the hard work Walter Menteth and others have done on trying to open opportunities to a wider range of architects, the RIBA is here closing them down again. For example:
    They have done an industry-standard PQQ which will involve practices in 2-3 days work, when a simple practice profile would be just as effective.
    They ask a whole lot of blah-blah questions about approach etc, so that one is judged on one's prose rather one's design.
    There's a mean little £50 registration fee - that should come out of the project budget for a project of this scale.
    They want the thing formatted their way, so you have to spend a lot more time than necessary compiling your response.
    The jury is entirely white, middle-aged males.
    Worst of all, your turnover has to be twice their proposed architect's fee of £172,000, effectively shutting out around 90-95% of all chartered practices.
    So three questions to the RIBA:
    Did you intend to eliminate the vast majority of architects from the running?
    What evidence do you have that small companies pose more of a risk to a project than big ones?
    Would you consider altering the terms of engagement for this competition?
    I think this is the RIBA at its most pathetic and disappointing.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Couldn't agree more.

    RIBA says: To become a Chartered Practice, architect practices need to comply with strict criteria in an accreditation scheme that gives you, the client, a mark of quality. So by choosing a RIBA Chartered Practice you can expect a certain level of excellence in design and service.

    Clearly this is not enough for RIBA themselves. I'm appalled.

    Why is this not an open competition for its member. I can already imagine the shortlist.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • I was wrong with one of my comments above - there is a woman on the jury: apologies Sasha Bhavan. But this doesn't affect the main points I was making.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Couldn't agree more.

    RIBA says: To become a Chartered Practice, architect practices need to comply with strict criteria in an accreditation scheme that gives you, the client, a mark of quality. So by choosing a RIBA Chartered Practice you can expect a certain level of excellence in design and service.

    Clearly this is not enough for RIBA themselves. I'm appalled.

    Why is this not an open competition for its member. I can already imagine the shortlist.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Couldn't agree more.

    RIBA says: To become a Chartered Practice, architect practices need to comply with strict criteria in an accreditation scheme that gives you, the client, a mark of quality. So by choosing a RIBA Chartered Practice you can expect a certain level of excellence in design and service.

    Clearly this is not enough for RIBA themselves. I'm appalled.

    Why is this not an open competition for its member. I can already imagine the shortlist.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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