The RIBA has ended months of speculation about who will head up its new charitable arm, by postponing the decision for 'about a year'.
The institute's communications chief, Roula Konzotis, has been seconded in the meantime to oversee an initial development stage before the foundation is publicly launched next year.
The RIBA Foundation is the most prestigious of the restructured institute's three branches.
The director will oversee the priceless library and drawings collection, the RIBA's entire cultural programme and the promotion of architecture to the public, and have responsibility for about 40 staff.
The institute first advertised the position in March, and AJ editorial director and deputy chair of CABE Paul Finch was known to be in discussions about the post. However, Finch did not put himself forward 'in view of my other commitments', he said.
RIBA chief executive Richard Hastilow denied that Konzotis' secondment was due to a lack of adequate candidates or that the institute had someone in mind to take up the post in 2004.
'The board felt there was a job to be done that needed particular skills, ' Hastilow said. Konzotis, who has been at the RIBA since 1999, is an 'excellent person' to prepare for next year's launch, which will coincide with the opening of the new architecture gallery at the V&A, he added.
The search continues for a chairman for the new charitable body. The RIBA is currently in discussions with 'one or two' possible candidates, with an announcement expected at the end of the year.