In 2009 the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) will celebrate its 175th Anniversary. To mark this milestone the Institute has planned a programme of special events which look back on some of the most significant achievements of the past, while also looking forward to the years ahead. The RIBA aims to use its position as the home of architecture in the UK to engage an even wider audience in the important architectural issues which impact on the way we live and work now and in the future.
Public highlights of the programme include an Architecture Film Season at the British Film Institute, a national schools competition to design a new parliament building for the 175th anniversary of the Barry/Pugin Palace of Westminster and a public vote on the UK’s most romantic building.
Major annual events such as the RIBA Stirling Prize, the Royal Gold Medal and Annual Lecture will also be given special prominence during the year. Her Majesty The Queen will present the 2009 Royal Gold Medal winner, Alvaro Siza, with his medal at a private audience at Buckingham Palace in February. This is only the sixth time that the medal has been presented by a member of the Royal family since its inauguration 161 years ago. In January the RIBA will launch a website to celebrate the history of the Royal Gold Medal which can be viewed at www.architecture.com/rgm
Work to refresh the headquarters of the RIBA will also culminate in 2009 to celebrate both the 175th anniversary of the institute and the 75th anniversary of 66 Portland Place. The RIBA has recently cut its carbon footprint by almost 60% and launched a competition to redesign the restaurant terrace. In 2009 the public areas of the building will be redecorated to aid conservation, including the refurbishment of the original cork floor in the library. The RIBA will host a student party as part of a student open day at 66 Portland Place to explain the work of the RIBA and encourage membership.
In 2009 two exhibitions will open in London which the RIBA collaborated on in terms of organization and curation. These are: Andrea Palladio: His Life and Legacy at the Royal Academy of Arts and Le Corbusier: The Art of Architecture at The Barbican. As part of Andrea Palladio’s 500th Anniversary the RIBA will launch the website: Palladio and Britain to celebrate Palladio’s influence on British Architects and the RIBA’s significant collection of his drawings and books.
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