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'RIBA will compete with MoMA'

The newly appointed head of programmes for the RIBA Trust, Graeme Russell, has admitted the search is on for a 'major' new exhibition space.

According to the former director of the acclaimed Cube in Manchester, the galleries at the RIBA's headquarters in Portland Place are not big enough to house groundbreaking international shows.

The ambitious Scot is now on the lookout for massive new spaces which could accommodate exhibitions as large as 750m 2.

He said: 'Let the RIBA's Florence Hall be what it is, but these exhibitions will not be a backdrop to a café.

'I'm interested in exhibitions which can compete with anything in the world such as MoMA. The type of shows I'm talking about are big.'

He added: 'The trust should be a global player and one of its key elements is to disseminate information to a wider audience.

'The new space will allow us, consequently, to explore new ideas and options.'

Russell is already eyeing up a number of pioneering shows and confesses he would love to run an exhibition focusing on influential French maverick Jean Prouvé.

However, Russell is well aware he will have to find significant cash to get his dreams off the ground.

He said: 'I will need to work with developers and private parties to secure the new funding and convince them of the impact of the shows. But that's not an issue. I quite like it.'

An in-depth interview with Russell will appear in next week's AJ.

by Richard Waite

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