More from: Chris Wilkinson - his life in architecture
The double Stirling Prize-winner will join the 12-strong architecture group that includes Norman Foster, Richard Rogers and Eva Jiricna.
Two years ago Nicholas Grimshaw was made the president of the entire organisation following a turbulent period in its history.
Wilkinson joins an august list of academicians that has included in the past the likes of John Soane and John Constable.
The ballot that elected the architect also saw Turner Prize-shortlisted sculptor Richard Wilson voted in.
Wilkinson set up his practice as Chris Wilkinson Architects in 1983, and later formed a partnership with Jim Eyre, becoming Wilkinson Eyre Architects in 1999.
In 2001 the firm won the Stirling Prize for the Magna Centre in Rotherham and repeated the achievement in 2002 with the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.
Chris Wilkinson makes it into Royal Academy