RIBA Agrees Upon Major Changes To UK Architectural Education

Exactly one year ago an important event took place. A gathering of seventy student delegates, organised by the Architecture Students Network (ASN), met to discuss the future of architectural education. Their meeting was sparked by the latest directive from the European Union which seeks to “establish more uniformity across Europe by aligning the time it takes to qualify”, making mutual recognition of the architect’s title easier between countries.

The ASN’s discussions concluded that the course content throughout the UK system of ‘Part I, II, and III’, and the duration of said course, urgently needs to be re-evaluated in order to reflect the changing needs of the profession – especially in light of the recent rise in tuition fees and associated university costs. Back then, a spokesperson for the ASN said that “it really felt like momentum for change has finally reached a tipping point.”

Shortlist Announced For 2015 RIBA North West Awards

Shortlisted: The Whitworth, Manchester / . Image © Alan Williams

A total of 15 projects have been shortlisted for RIBA North West 2015 Awards, featuring buildings by John McAslan + Partners, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, MUMA and Carmody Groake. All shortlisted buildings will now be assessed by a regional jury. Regional winners will then be considered for a RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will place some projects in the running for the 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize. The 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize was won by Haworth Tompkins for the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, a project which was shortlisted by this branch of the RIBA. Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios‘ Manchester School of Art also made it to the national finals.

See the complete list of shortlisted projects after the break.

Call For Entries: RIBA Boyd Auger Student Travel Scholarship

2013 Recipient: Laura Minca. Image © Laura Minca

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has launched a call for applications for the 2015 RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship. The scholarship, which has been awarded since 2008, supports the personal, professional and academic development of its student recipients by contributing towards their “imaginative and original research and .”

Shortlist Announced For 2015 RIBA London Awards

Shortlisted: Great James Street / Emrys Architects. Image © Alan Williams

A total of 68 buildings have been shortlisted for London 2015 Awards, featuring buildings by AHMM, dRMM, John McAslan + Partners and Grimshaw, to Níall McLaughlin Architects, Eric Parry Architects, and Rogers Stirk Harbour. Winning projects from last year included three Stirling Prize shortlisted projects, as well as another by Haworth Tompkins who ultimately took the prize in 2014 for the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool. All shortlisted buildings will now be assessed by a regional jury. Regional winners will then be considered for a RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will place some projects in the running for the 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize.

See the complete list of shortlisted projects after the break.

RIBA Future Trends Survey Reveals A “Mixed Picture”

Courtesy of RIBA

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for January 2015 has revealed strong levels of optimism as workload forecasts remain strongly positive across all regions of the . Following little change in indexes between November and December 2014, the workload index has once again remained consistent at +29. Workload forecast balance figures have remained high, the highest numbers being reported from practices in Northern Ireland at +67 (from +50) and Scotland at +57 (from +75). Furthermore, practices of all sizes have been responding with positive workload prospects heading into the next quarter.

Competition Seeks Ideas to Transform Preston Bus Station into Youth Center

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has launched an international design competition in search of ideas to transform Lancashire’s iconic Preston Bus Station into a new public hub and youth center. The anticipated £13 million plan hopes to not only provide a home for the new Preston Youth Zone Plus, but preserve the historic structure’s brutalist appearance.

, designed by BDP and completed in 1969, was previously slated for demolition. However, last year the success of an international preservation campaign saved it from destruction and helped the building achieve Grade-II listing.

The proposed program and competition details, after the break. 

Which Architect Could Restore The Glasgow School Of Art?

Glasgow School of Art, Eric De Mare. Image © Photographs Collection

With the Charles Rennie Mackintosh retrospective opening today at the Royal Institute of British Architects in Rowan Moore, writing for The Guardian, asks ”which architect could restore Mackintosh’s masterpiece [in Glasgow]?” The Glasgow School of Art, parts of which were devastated by fire in May of last year, is in the process of selecting a restoration architect from a shortlist of five. Yet for Moore ”there are examples of clumsiness and stodginess in some of the past projects of those included that should be allowed nowhere near the School of Art.”

XJTLU Becomes First Chinese Architecture Course with Unconditional RIBA Accreditation

XJTLU’s Administration Information Building, completed in 2013 by Aedas. Image Courtesy of Aedas

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has awarded unconditional Part 1 accreditation to the undergraduate program at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) in Suzhou, making it the first Chinese architecture program to be certified by the UK architecture body. The accreditation marks another first for XJTLU’s partner university at Liverpool, which pioneered the RIBA accreditation system by becoming the first certified course in the world in 1906, and officially marks the program at XJTLU as on a par with other architecture schools around the world.

In Conversation With Sheila O’Donnell And John Tuomey, 2015 Royal Gold Medallists

and Sheila O’Donnell – recipients of the 2015 Royal Gold Medal. Image Courtesy of RIBA

When Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey, who practice in partnership as O’Donnell + Tuomey, were named as this year’s recipients of the RIBA Royal Gold Medal, a palpable collective satisfaction appeared to spread throughout the profession. No one could find criticism in Joseph Rykwert and Níall McLaughlin’s nomination, nor the ultimate choice of the RIBA Honours Committee, to bestow the award upon the Irish team. Their astonishingly rigourous body of work, compiled and constructed over the last twenty five years, has an appeal which extends beyond Irish and British shores. A robust stock of cultural, community and educational projects, alongside family homes and social housing projects, leaves little doubt about the quality, depth and breadth of their mutual capabilities and the skill of those that they choose to collaborate with.

Read the conversation with the Gold Medallists after the break.

UK Report Says Universities are Failing to Prepare Architecture Students for Practice

Cambridge University was ranked the UK’s #1 architecture school in 2014. Image © Flickr CC User Mark Fosh

UK universities are failing to properly equip graduates with the necessary skills required for practicing architecture, according to RIBA’s 2014 Skills Survey. Of the 149 employers and 580 architectural students or recent graduates who responded to the wide-spread , a large majority criticized architectural for prioritizing “theoretical knowledge ahead of practical ability” and agreed that most graduates are ill-prepared for work after studying at the university.

“I can think of no other profession where new graduates must wait a decade or more to be given significant responsibility because they have not acquired basic skills in university,” says Yarema Ronish, RIBA client adviser and director at Richard Morton Architects.

A First Look at the Shortlisted Bristol Arena Proposals

Team A. Image Courtesy of

Grimshaw, IDOM, Populous, Feilden Clegg BradleyWhite Arkitekter and Wilkinson Eyre are among five international design teams who’ve been recently shortlisted in a RIBA-organized competition to design the £90 million , a 12,000-seat indoor entertainment venue set to open by 2017. At this point, the proposals remain anonymous and the public is being asked for their opinion. A judging panel, that includes the Mayor of Bristol, will review the public commentary and designs before selecting a team in March. Take a look at the projects and share your thoughts, after the break.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Exhibition To Open Next Month In London

Design For A House For An Art Lover (1901). Image © Library

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have announced that a new exhibition exploring the Scottish designer and artist’s celebrated, but difficult, career is to open next month in London. Mackintosh Architecture will be the first exhibition solely devoted to his architecture, offering the opportunity to view over sixty original drawings, watercolours and perspectives spanning the entirety of his working life. Seen together, they “reveal the evolution of his style from his early apprenticeship to his later projects as an individual architect and designer.” Drawings on display will also show his collaboration with the accomplished artist and designer , his wife.

RIBA Future Trends Survey Indicates Consistent Growth

Courtesy of RIBA

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for December 2014 has revealed little month-on-month change in indexes with the acknowledgement of a growing level of optimism. After falling back slightly in November 2014, the workload index has remained consistent at +29 (from +37 in November). Workload forecast balance figures have remained extremely positive, with practices reporting +50 in Northern and up to +75 in . Furthermore, practices of all sizes have been responding with “optimistic” workload prospects heading into the next quarter. The percentage of respondents reporting that they had personally been under-employed fell to 9% from 12%.

Allies and Morrison to Masterplan New City District in Oman

Wadi Kabir, . Image © Flickr User MOHAMMED RAFIQUE2011

The competition to masterplan Muscat, Oman’s new district, Al-Irfan, is over. Organized by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), five teams were chosen to submit proposals for the development project. Of those five, international firm Allies and Morrison has been selected to oversee the design process. The firm will be working in with the Oman Tourism Development Company SAOC (Omran) to develop a site of over 7.4 million square meters into a thriving urban center that will provide business and residential opportunities for the people of Oman.

Sutherland Hussey Wins Competition to Design Sessay Community Hub

© Sutherland Hussey Architects, courtesy of

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced Sutherland Hussey Architects and Gross Max Landscape Architects as winners of a competition to design a new community hub for Sessay Village in North Yorkshire. The proposal, which jury chair Robin Snell believed to have “best expressed the client vision,” aims to become a well-used public destination that properly serves more than 20 local organizations, including a primary school, cricket club and the Sessay First Responders.

The narrow, single-story pavilion will stretch between two circular sports fields, connecting it’s inner halls directly to the outdoors. Continue after the break for more images of the project.

Call For Entries: RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship 2015

Call For Entries: 2015. Image Courtesy of

The 2015 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship has launched and is inviting applications from schools of architecture around the world. A £6,000 grant will be awarded to one student by a panel of judges which will include Lord Foster and the current President of the , Stephen Hodder. First established in 2006, the scholarship is now in its eighth year and is designed to fund international research on a topic related to the survival of our towns and cities in a location of the student’s choice.

2015 London Festival Of Architecture To Explore ‘Work In Progress’

A changing skyline. Image Courtesy of CPAT / Hayes Davidson / Jason Hawkes

It has been revealed that the theme for the 2015 London Festival of Architecture (LFA) will centre around ‘Work In Progress’. The festival, which is comprised of a series of events in and around the UK capital, seeks to “highlight the key role architecture plays in social, urban and cultural development.” The annual celebration, which will run between the 1st and 30th June, will be jointly delivered by the Architecture Foundation, the British Council, New London Architecture, and the RIBA’s London branch. Last year’s 10th anniversary festival saw over 200 events ranging from walking tours and cycle rides, to exhibitions, talks, debates and films all addressing the theme of ’Capital’.

Four Shortlisted for Sessay Sports Pavilion

One of four shortlisted proposals (click to view them all). Image Courtesy of The Architects’ Journal

Sutherland Hussey, Faed Brown Architects, Daykin Marshall Studio, and Gibson Thornley Architects have been announced as finalists in the -backed competition for a new community hub and sports pavilion for the Sessay Cricket Club in North Yorkshire. The four shortlisted competitors, selected from over 80 entrants, will be reviewed by a judging panel on January 8. A winning team is expected to be announced shortly after.