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Theis + Khan reveals £2.9m RIBA HQ overhaul

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Theis + Khan has revealed its recently completed revamp of RIBA’s new administrative centre at 76 Portland Place

The £2.9 million scheme has created a 3,157m2 office along the road from the institute’s George Grey Wornum-designed headquarters at 66 Portland Place.

The building, which was previously occupied by the Institute of Physics, includes three linked elements – a seven-storey office to the front and a three-storey brick mews to the rear connected by a social space at the ground floor.

This social space features a three-storey glazed atrium providing views out towards 66 Portland Place, linking the 1930s headquarters with the new offices.

The new offices replace the institutes existing offices at 77 Portland Place, housing all RIBA’s London-based staff under one roof, freeing up number 66 to become a building where RIBA said ‘staff and the public will experience, learn and debate architecture.’ 

Soraya Khan of Theis + Khan, said: ‘It was an exhilarating and often challenging project with a tight budget and timescale that dictated a pragmatic approach to ensure money was directed to what mattered. Simple, robust materials and sensitive detailing of found and new surfaces left what comes free – careful planning, natural light, colour and well-proportioned spaces – to bring delight.’

The 2010 Stirling Prize finalists won the commission after seeing off competition from Ben Adams, Moxon Architects, Shedkm, Piercy & Company and Spacelab.

The competition sparked controversy as its entry requirements stated entrants had to have a minimum turnover of £334,000 – a condition it was feared would exclude most smaller practices.

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