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Cindy Walters appointed chair of Architecture Foundation

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Walters & Cohen co-founder Cindy Walters has replaced AHMM’s Simon Allford as the chair of the Architecture Foundation (AF), who steps down after six-year term

Walters, who joined the AF’s board as a trustee in 2018, becomes the fifth chair in the organisation’s 28-year history, following Richard Rogers, Will Alsop, Brian Clarke and most recently Allford.

The foundation was established in 1991 as the UK’s first independent architecture centre and has been directed since 2015 by Ellis Woodman, who is also a columnist at the AJ. It is a registered charity based at offices at the Royal College of Art. 

The organisation seeks to enliven the conversation about architecture and urbanism in London through public outreach, competitions and exhibitions, supporting up-and-coming architects and providing a platform for leading architects from around the world.

Walters said: ‘The recent revival of the Architecture Foundation’s fortunes is a tribute to Simon Allford’s dynamic stewardship. He took on the role of chair at a moment when the loss of public funding presented the AF with a real existential crisis and without his initiative and vision it would certainly have struggled to survive.

‘Not only has it survived but, under Ellis Woodman’s direction, the AF has gone on to enjoy a period of fantastic productivity and impact. I am delighted to be taking over as chair of an organisation that is in such good health and very much looking forward to helping support it in the future.’

Outside her practice, Walters is an external examiner, speaker, competition judge and mentor. She is involved with several organisations including the RIBA Awards Group, the Design Council and the Young Women’s Trust. She is also a governor at Regent High School and is undertaking a PhD at the Bartlett.

Allford called his term a ‘pleasure’, adding: ’Through a large and varied programme of events, lectures, conversations, debates, exhibitions, films, publications and the building of pavilions, Ellis and his team have made a huge difference to the architectural conversation in London. I am delighted that Cindy Walters has been appointed to succeed me and I am sure that working with the board of trustees and Ellis, they will take the AF forward to ever more success.’

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