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Beigel handed top award for 'advancement of architectural education’

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Florian Beigel, director of the Architecture Research Unit (ARU) at London Metropolitan University, has been named as the winner of the 2014 RIBA Annie Spink Award for Excellence in Architectural Education.

The award is made every two years to an individual making a significant contribution to the advancement of architectural education in an institution offering RIBA-validated courses.

Roz Barr, RIBA vice president of education and chair of the judging panel, said: ‘Over four decades of inspirational teaching, Florian Beigel has revealed an unparalleled commitment to the School of Architecture of the London Metropolitan University framed in entirely unique terms.
‘His penetrating intelligence, generous spirit, and abundant talent as an architect make him a most deserving winner of the RIBA Annie Spink Award.’

Beigel was born in 1941 in Konstanz, next to the Lake of Konstanz in Southern Germany.

He gained a masters at University College, London in 1969, after graduating as diplom ingenieur (architecture) at University of Stuttgart the previous year.

He served as an architectural assistant to professor Rolf Gutbrod in Stuttgart and at Arup Associates in London.

Later, he worked as a research assistant on the 1972 Munich Olympic roofing structures.

Since 1970 he has been an architect in private practice in London, and founded the ARU as a design research studio in the early 1970s.

Beigel said: “All through the years the aim has been to give the students a love and passion for architecture.’
‘Our practice (design as research) informs the teaching, and the teaching informs the practice. In this way, there has always been a balance between practice, research and teaching.’

Beigel dedicated the award to his collaborator at the university, Philip Christou.

The 2014 Annie Spink judges:

  • Chair, Roz Barr (Roz Barr Architects and RIBA Vice-President Education)
  • Tamsin Hanke (Part 2 graduate Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL; RIBA President’s Dissertation Medallist 2013)
  • Deborah Howard (Professor Emerita of Architectural History and Director of Research in the Faculty of Architecture and History of Art, University of Cambridge)
  • Joseph Rykwert (architectural historian and critic; Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania; RIBA Royal Gold Medallist 2014)
  • John Tuomey (O’Donnell + Tuomey; Professor of Architectural Design, University College Dublin; RIBA Royal Gold Medallist 2015)
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