A short walk from London’s bustling Soho and Oxford Circus, the Royal Institute of British Architect’s London headquarters was the obvious choice for the London leg of our feature on Brazilian architects working abroad.
The RIBA is the architecture community’s central reference point in the British capital. It is also a busy centre for all sorts of events related to the built environment, from smaller building design projects, through to larger scale urban developments.
Housed in a stunning Grade II listed building designed in the 1930s by architect Grey Wornum, the Portland Place RIBA head office is an architectural gem in itself; an opportunity we couldn’t let pass.
This spring closes and summer kicks off at the RIBA with a stimulating exhibition at the main HQ’s Gallery 2 and a big announcement – the winning designs for the annual RIBA Awards.
The Gallery 2 show visits South America, yet through another of the continent’s nations; Colombia. Colombian Architecture: A Visual Narrative of Two Cities explores the urban transformation of the country’s main cities of Bogotá and Medellín over the past 20 years; a series of architectural changes, crucial to the cities’ social inclusion, anti-violence and cultural legacy movements. The event is part of the 2010 London Festival of Architecture program and is sponsored by a group of supporting organisations, including the Embassy of Colombia.
The Institute’s 2010 awards for architectural elegance were announced a few days ago. They include 93 UK buildings and a further nine in the rest of the EU, with highlights such as the Carmody Groarke Regent’s Place Pavilion, 60 Threadneedle Street in London by Eric Parry Architects, Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum by Rick Mather Architects and the Creative Business Units in Aberystwyth by Heatherwick Studio. Featuring multiple winners for some categories, the Institute also welcomed many younger practices that won their first RIBA prize this year.
Smaller in scale but not in prestige and focusing on residential projects, the RIBA Manser Medal is another of the institute’s much-celebrated prizes. The annual award for the UK’s best new house was just relaunched a few days ago in partnership with HSBC Private Bank and promises to offer an array of amazing one-off residential designs, with the shortlist to be announced this autumn, followed by the winner later in the year.
Just a few of the organisation’s many events, be it an exhibition, an award ceremony or a lecture, there is always something on at the RIBA for the architecturally minded visitor.