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Open City charity announces new director

rory Olcayto with Victoria Thornton

Open City has appointed AJ editor Rory Olcayto as its new chief executive

Olcayto, who joined the Architects’ Journal in 2008, succeeds Victoria Thornton and will take charge of the organisation in March.

Thornton is to take over the running of the charity’s sister programme, Open House Worldwide, and will deliver the Open-City Impact Study to coincide with the organisation’s 25th anniversary year in 2017.

Open City was founded by Thornton in 1992 to promote public awareness and appreciation of the capital’s building design and architecture. It has since grown to become the largest of its kind in the UK, supporting a variety of initiatives including Architecture in Schools, to teach young children about the built environment, and Accelerate, to encourage teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds to study architecture.

Speaking about his appointment, Olcayto said: ’I’ve been a fan of Open City for many years. Victoria and her team have created an organisation which uniquely has the confidence of the public and the profession. I see my role as expanding on this work and engaging the very broadest range of people in the discussion to ensure that London becomes a more equitable city.’

A ‘delighted’ Open City chairman Crispin Kelly said: ’Rory succeeds … our founder and will be building on the foundations laid by her.

‘We were incredibly impressed by his proven campaigning skills and his desire to engage with all sections of the community in promoting better places to live and work.’

Meanwhile, Tony Pidgley, trustee of Open City commented: ’The property industry needs to listen and debate with ordinary Londoners what kind of places we want to create. Open City is a fantastic way to do this and Rory is a great fit for the charity.

’When it comes to architecture, he’s one of the best communicators around. He will help us engage with an incredible range of people about the impact of design and development on all our lives.’

Olcayto will leave the AJ at the end of February.

Ben Greenish, managing director of the Architects’ Journal, said: ‘Rory’s been a great custodian of this wonderful brand for the last couple of years and leaves the AJ in rude health. We wish him well and are looking forward to appointing the AJ’s next editor in due course.’



Readers' comments (2)

  • Shame, terrific editor.

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  • Chris Rogers

    Be good if he could get rid of the silly, unnecessary and ungrammatical hyphen in 'Open-City' - it's irritated me since they announced it.

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