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Royal Institute of British Architects building, Portland Place, London.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a professional body for architects in the United Kingdommarker.

Originally named the Institute of British Architects in London, it was formed in 1834 by several prominent architects, including Philip Hardwick, Thomas Allom, William Donthorne, Thomas Leverton Donaldson, John Buonarotti Papworth and Thomas de Grey, 2nd Earl de Grey. It was awarded a Royal Charter in 1837, becoming the Royal Institute of British Architects in London, eventually dropping the reference to London in 1892.

The RIBA is a member organisation, with 40,500 members. Chartered Members are entitled to call themselves chartered architects and to append the post-nominals RIBA after their name; Student Members are not permitted to do so. Formerly, fellowships of the institute were granted, although no longer; those who continue to hold this title instead add FRIBA.

RIBA is based at 66 Portland Placemarker, Londonmarker — a 1930s Grade II* listed building designed by architect George Grey Wornum with sculptures by Edward Bainbridge Copnall and James Woodford. The Institute also maintains a dozen regional offices around the United Kingdom. Parts of the London building are open to the public. It has a large architectural bookshop, a café, galleries for exhibitions and lecture theatres. Rooms are hired out for events.


The RIBA Library, otherwise known as the British Architectural Library, is one of the leading libraries in its field in the world. In addition to its holdings of books and journals it has very extensive collections of photographs, drawings and manuscripts, including many architectural drawings by leading British and international architects such as Andrea Palladio, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Sir Christopher Wren. There are also portraits and architectural models.

Architecture for All

Architectural Aspiration above the main entrnace
The Institute has created a partnership with the Victoria & Albert Museummarker called Architecture for All to promote public understanding of architecture. In 2004 the two institutions created a new Architecture Gallery at the V&A. In addition RIBA's archives have moved to new facilities in the Henry Cole Wing at the V&A, which also houses study rooms where members of the public may view items from the RIBA and V&A architectural collections under the supervision of curatorial staff, and an education room.

RIBA also stages temporary public exhibitions at its building in Portland Place and elsewhere[73347].

RIBA Awards

RIBA runs many awards including the Stirling Prize for the best new building of the year, the Royal Gold Medal (first awarded in 1848), which honours a distinguished body of work, and the Stephen Lawrence Prize for projects with a construction budget of less than £500,000. The RIBA also awards several President's medals for student work.

RIBA in the News

In July 2007, RIBA called for minimum space standards in newly built British houses after research was published suggesting that British houses were falling behind other European countries. "The average new home sold to people today is significantly smaller than that built in the 1920s... We're way behind the rest of Europe - even densely populated Hollandmarker has better proportioned houses than are being built in the country. So let's see minimum space standards for all new homes," said RIBA president Jack Pringle [73348]


  • ARIBA - Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects (no longer granted to new members)
  • FRIBA - Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (now an honorary designation)
  • RIBA - Chartered member of the Royal Institute of British Architects
  • The Institute's president is designated PRIBA, past presidents use PPRIBA

See also


  • H.M. Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840 (1997) ISBN 0-300-07207-4
  • Charles Read, "Earl de Grey" (2007)

External links

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