RIBA director Richard Brindley is set to leave the institute as part of a shake-up to renew its focus on members
The internal restructure will create a new members’ directorate which will launch this summer with a newly appointed head. The reshuffle will see Brindley, who has been a director at the RIBA for 11 years and is a qualified architect, leave in June.
RIBA chief executive Harry Rich, said: ‘This change will allow us to serve our members in the UK and around the world even better.
He added: ‘Directly connecting our activities in this way represents a renewed and strengthened commitment to our work in the regions and nations of the UK and to our core membership, practice, education, client and international activities.’
But RIBA councillor John Assael, said he was sceptical of the changes, claiming the RIBA needed to do more to focus on architects. RIBA’s core mission is to promote both architects and architecture.
Assael told the AJ: ‘This [shake-up] probably means a further concentration of power in the executive.
‘Brindley was at the RIBA before Harry Rich arrived and he is also an architect. He was also no ‘poodle’ either and cared deeply about members not just architecture – although in recent years he seems to have been somewhat marginalised.
He added: ‘I am sceptical that a new appointment [to head the members directorate], who might not even be an architect, is anything more than window dressing.
‘Under the present leadership it is unlikely that we will see the pendulum swing back to focusing on architects. It needs to. After all the Royal Charter can’t deliver architecture without them.’
Brindley joined the RIBA as director of practice in November 2003 and then became RIBA director of professional services (2007-2011). He is currently executive director membership and profession.
He said: ‘It has been an immense privilege and fulfilling professional experience to work at the RIBA with many talented and committed RIBA members and staff colleagues and to be part of making a real positive difference for our architects’ profession and for architecture.
‘Looking back on the last 11 years, it gives me great pride to see what we have achieved together in developing, supporting and promoting the profession through times of great change and challenge. The RIBA and its members are recognised globally as representing excellence in architecture and professionalism. Long may that continue!’