The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has taken a long lease on offices, just a couple of doors from its Art Deco landmark building at 66 Portland Place. The new premises, at 76 Portland Place will be converted to provide high-quality office space for all of the RIBA’s London-based staff.
The RIBA is running a competition through its competition service to select a design team led by an RIBA Chartered Practice, for the new offices. The aspiration is that the building is exemplary in its design and as environmentally sustainable as possible.
The move will open up exciting opportunities for 66 Portland Place to become an ever more vibrant building that RIBA members, staff and the public will use to experience, learn and debate architecture. The RIBA’s new architecture gallery to showcase its world-class collections through free exhibitions exploring the past, present and future of architecture, designed by architects Carmody Groake, opens at 66 Portland Place in early 2014.
The RIBA has also just signed the lease on new premises at Mann Island in Liverpool by Broadway Malyan Architects. Opening in late 2014, it will offer a range of public spaces, including a museum-quality gallery, in addition to offices for North West-based RIBA staff.
RIBA Chief Executive Harry Rich said:
“We need to do this now because the lease of 77 Portland Place ends next year. But it is also a wonderful opportunity to bring all of our London team together into one well-designed space. Buying a long lease makes business sense because it insulates us from rising rents and the cost will be less than staying as we are. The move will open up exciting opportunities to make 66 Portland Place an ever more vibrant destination for our members and guests.”
RIBA President Stephen Hodder added:
“Our acquisition of 76 Portland Place is a significant move in the spirit of our predecessors who built our Art Deco HQ during the Great Depression. Not only will the move bring our London-based team together, it will create a wealth of opportunity to develop 66 Portland Place’s success as a place for members, staff and the public to experience, learn about and debate architecture.”