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RIBA plans to go international with its awards

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The riba is considering extending its building awards programme worldwide.

Currently its Stirling Prize is only open to British architects working in the UK and Europe. The institute extended the £20,000 prize only last year, to allow British architects to win with any building they had designed in mainland Europe. Wilford's £53 million Stuttgart Music School took the honours. Now the institute is thinking of extending it again, although both the cost of judging the far-flung buildings and the time taken to do so would rise and require further sponsorship. A riba spokesman said that there were 'certainly no plans for the next couple of years', but that in future the prize could also be open to foreign architects working anywhere in the world, as long as they were riba members. This would make buildings such as Foster and Partners' Chek Lap Kok airport, completed this week, eligible to win the grand prize.

Backed by the Sunday Times, the Stirling prize is to be awarded on 19 November this year, chosen from a list of category winners in turn honed down from the riba's regional award winners. Some 300 buildings have been submitted for the regional awards this year. The London region alone has 77 entries, not including Wilford's No 1 Poultry, which culture secretary Chris Smith predicted would figure in the awards in his speech last year.

The riba is seeking to appoint a new £30,000/year director for its Architecture Centre and a new £20,000/year head of exhibitions, following Victoria Thornton's resignation over funding difficulties. The institute placed an advertisement for both posts in the Guardian earlier this week.

Ash Sakula Architects has beaten rivals with its design for an entrance and foyer for a church-turned-youth-theatre. A curved timber and glass screen will wrap around the church corner and shelter the new glass-roofed foyer for the Goodrich Theatre in Putney. The proposal is being submitted for Arts Council lottery funding and should be finished by the millennium. The firm beat David Mikhail Associates, Low Somorjay Talliss, Pawson Williams Architects, and Pyle Associates.

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