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RIBA's bar demands provoke Roche's wrath

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The RIBA has come under fire for the pre-qualifications it is demanding from those entering the competition for a new bar in its Portland Place headquarters.

RIBA councillor Chris Roche said he was 'utterly disgusted' by the requirements put on architects submitting proposals for the £60,000 scheme, already dubbed the Ribar.

The small practitioner said there was 'no way' that three client references, details of relevant projects and completed schemes or design team CVs should be required.

'This is an outrage, ' he said.

'The stated aim is to attract as many young and up-and-coming architects as possible and the simple fact is that these qualifications rule out most of them.

'The principal problem is that the aim of the competition is to be exciting and vibrant, yet this will not be allowed to happen.

'They couldn't organise a piss-up in a RIBA building, ' Roche added.

But a spokeswoman for the RIBA defended its approach. 'It is unusual to have a competition for a scheme of this size, but we have chosen to do it anyway, ' she said.

'We have made it clear that even those young students or graduates who do not have all the qualifications are welcome to enter anyway, 'she added. 'People should wait to see the shortlist before passing comment.'

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