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Architect in the House scheme could be dropped

The RIBA is considering dropping the nationally renowned initiative Architect in the House, it has emerged.

An internal document seen by the AJ revealed that officials at Portland Place have become increasingly concerned about dwindling involvement from both architects and members of the general public.

Architect in the House, which is seen as an intrinsic part of Architecture Week, involves architects offering free advice to the public on what to do with their homes. In return the punters make a contribution to homeless charity Shelter.

Although a charity initiative, many young architects have found it a useful way of meeting potential clients and picking up early commissions.

Research from the 2005 initiative indicated that the scheme had resulted - or might result - in work for about one in four architects involved.

At its peak in 2002 the scheme saw some 948 architects register to take part, with just over 8,000 potential clients taking advantage of their services. However, by 2004 these numbers had dwindled to 608 and 5,610 respectively.

In the document, Roula Konzotis, the RIBA's director of communications also questioned the initiative's recent failure to attract widespread coverage in the national papers.

by Ed Dorrell

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