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RIBA Awards reshaped after regional grievances

The RIBA has announced it will be restructuring its awards system in 2007, replacing it with a two-tier programme.

The current national awards will be replaced following complaints from regional juries who have had their decisions overturned at national level.

From 2007, regional juries, which will continue to be composed of a jury chair, a regional representative and a lay judge, will be responsible for shortlisting buildings in their area, and for giving out awards. This new regional structure will simply be called the RIBA Awards.

Previously, regional recommendations could be overridden by the RIBA Awards Committee, as its decision was final.

However, the RIBA will now also award a second tier of awards, to be called the RIBA National Awards.

Although head of RIBA Awards Tony Chapman 'is keen not to put a number' on the amount of buildings that will receive this higher honour, it is thought that about two-thirds of the buildings on the regional shortlist will receive national awards.

The new system will mean only those buildings to gain national award status will be honoured in the RIBA's annual national awards ceremony.

Chapman said: 'We have been sensitive to feedback, and we hope that these changes will address the dissatisfaction with the existing system.'

by Richard Vaughan

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