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RIBA Launches search for UK's most romantic building


09 February 2009

Press office contact:

Beatrice Cooke
T: +44 (0)207 307 3813
E: beatrice.cooke@riba.org

Launch date – Monday 9 February


As part of its 175th Anniversary celebrations and to coincide with Valentine's Day, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is holding a light-hearted poll to find the nation's favourite building for a date. Fourteen buildings from across the UK have been selected for their emotive power and dating potential. To vote for the building that you would most love to love in, go online at: www.architecture.com/constructionforseduction|


The poll will run until 6 April, with interim Valentine's Day results being released on Friday 13th February.


The selected buildings are as follows:


Blackpool Tower, Lancashire

Opened in 1894, this 158m tall cast steel and iron landmark was inspired by the Eiffel Tower. Romantic daredevils enjoying this popular seaside resort can tremble their way to the viewing platform together to test their love, hand-in-hand, on the 'Walk of Faith' – a glass floor that looks straight down to the Promenade, 116m below.


Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

Perhaps Britain's most romantic palace, there are few more captivating sights to quicken the heart than this exquisite Baroque building set in its 2,100 acres of beautiful parkland. Built to celebrate victory over the French and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, lovers will be swept away with a mixture of romantic and historic fervour.



British Museum, London

You're sure to impress with a visit to one of the world's greatest museums. Marvel starry-eyed at some of the 7 million objects, including the Rosetta Stone and Parthenon marbles, while leaving time to wander hand-in-hand around the Great Court with its incredible glass and steel roof enclosing the two-acre square.


Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

One of Britain's best loved houses, Chatsworth House is a place to impress. Famed for its magnificent, opulent building containing one of Europe's finest private art collections, and located in a truly dreamy country park setting, it's enough to make anyone go weak at the knees.


Eden Project, Cornwall

What better place for your love to blossom than in the world's biggest hothouse? With over one hundred thousand plants from across the world, this unique landmark structure manages to combine ecology, horticulture, science, art and architecture.


Edinburgh Castle

Dominating the skyline of one of the world's most romantic cities, this majestic landmark, perched atop its dramatic volcanic crag, has been a stronghold for over 3,000 years. The dramatic views are worth the climb alone. Lovers can also enjoy the One o' Clock Gun, Birth Chamberand Crown Room.


London Eye (Millennium Wheel), London

Romance your loved one while taking in 55 of London's most famous landmarks aboard one of the world's largest observation wheels. The 135m tall structure, which combines the best of British design, architecture and engineering, has quickly become a symbol for the capital and a popular place to get married! Just make sure that you have a head for heights.


Millennium Bridge, Gateshead, Northumberland

Linking Gateshead with Newcastle, the 2002 RIBA Stirling Prize winning Millennium Bridge not only serves a functional purposeas a foot and cycle bridge, but its striking grace and engineering has made it a destination in its own right. What better location to admire physical and aesthetic beauty?


Portmeirion, Gwynedd, Wales

This enchanting village was created by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, using a combination of beautiful and eclectic restored buildings and Italianate decorative features. Occupying a magical peninsular setting above miles of sandy beaches, lovers will be hard-pressed to find a more romantic location.


Royal Pavilion, Brighton

The Royal Pavilion grew from humble beginnings to the spectacular Indian-style palace that exists today largely due to the patronage of the Prince Regent. He enjoyed a succession of passionate love affairs – dating here has a long history! But lovers beware: his drinking, womanising and gambling left him heavily in debt…


The Backs, Cambridge
Referring to the rear of the University colleges whose grounds stretch down to the banks of the River Cam, the Backs afford stunning views of Magdalene, St John's, Clare, King's, Queens' and Trinity, amongst others. Intrepid lovers can hire a punt, or simply stroll starry-eyed along the paths, pausing to watch the boaters glide by.


The Roman Baths, Bath, Somerset

Set around Britain's only natural hot spring, the Romans built a magnificent stone temple and bathing complex that still flows with therapeutic hot waters. Baths were central to the Roman values of companionship, entertainment, exercise, and cleanliness – ideals that are also key to successful dating today.


Warwick Castle, Warwickshire

Although Warwick Castle's history is long and varied, the beauty of the building, from the grandeur of the State Rooms to the romantic Victorian Rose Garden make it an ideal destination for curing damsels of their distress, being charmed by Princes, or simply taking in the magnificent location.


Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Yorkshire

Enjoy an amorous walk through the stunning grounds of this international centre for contemporary sculpture. Take a break from admiring each other to soak-up the art, nature and exquisite architecture, sitting sensitively within the romantic landscape.



Notes to editors

  1. For further press information please contact Beatrice Cooke in the RIBA Press Office: 020 7307 3813; beatrice.cooke@inst.riba.org
  2. 2009 marks the 175th Anniversary of the RIBA. To celebrate this milestone the Institute has planned a programme of special events which look back with pride on some of the most significant achievements of the past while also looking forward to the years ahead. We aim to use our position as the home of architecture in the UK to engage an even wider audience in the vitally important architectural issues which have such a large influence on the way we live and work both now and in the future. Our programme for the year includes major loans to the exhibition Andrea Palladio: His Life and Legacy at the Royal Academy of Arts and our collaboration with the Barbican Centre to bring the exhibition Le Corbusier: The Art of Architecture to London. We are also running a national schools competition in collaboration with Construction Skills to design a new parliament building which coincides with the 175th anniversary of the current Barry/Pugin Palace of Westminster. Our major annual events such as the Stirling Prize, the Royal Gold Medal and Annual Lecture will also be given special prominence during the year. In raising our profile for our anniversary year we hope to demonstrate better the breadth of our activities and convey our passion for good design and designers, in the built environment. For further information go to www.architecture.com/175



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