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Illuminated River director among nine new RIBA honorary fellows

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Curator and former CABE director Sarah Gaventa is among nine champions of architecture announced for RIBA honorary fellowships

The prestigious accolade is awarded every year to people who have made a contribution to the advancement of architecture, sustainable communities and the education of future generations.

Gaventa, a curator and placemaking expert, is director of the Illuminated River Foundation, a £20 million light installation project to light up bridges along the River Thames. 

A fellowship was also awarded to Yana Peel, chief executive of the Serpentine Galleries who commissioned this year’s pavilion designed by Mexican architect Frida Escobedo – who herself was also honoured by the RIBA with an International Fellowship.

The other recipients were:

  • James Carpenter, artist and designer
  • Robert Ball, chief executive of the Architects Benevolent Society
  • Beatrice Fraenkel, former ARB chair and current chair of Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Lynne Walker, UCL’s architectural historian 
  • Zina Jardaneh, chair of the Palestinian Museum 
  • Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed al-Qasimi, ruler of United Arab Emirates city Sharjah
  • Eusebio Leal Spengler, Havana City historian

The lifetime honour allows recipients to use the initials Hon FRIBA after their name. 

The awards will be presented at a special event at Portland Place in February 2019.  

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