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RIBA Bar – architect-designed cafe bar in W1 opens to public


25 August 2005

Press office contact:

Press Office
T: +44 (0)207 580 5533
E: pressoffice@riba.org

The RIBA Bar, a funky new café bar designed by Azman Architects, opens to the public on 1 September 2005.
The RIBA Bar is situated in the entrance foyer of the Royal Institute of British Architects' (RIBA) Grade ll* listed 1930s headquarters building at 66 Portland Place, W1. Just a five-minute walk from Oxford Circus, the combination of high-quality contemporary surroundings, with drinks and simple but mouth-watering tapas-style snacks designed by a Michelin-starred chef, is certainly unique to this area.
Azman Architects' RIBA competition-winning design combines dark timber with fine steel mesh and opaque acrylic to create a timeless but contemporary setting. Innovative sliding screens and modular freestanding bar furniture and seating transform the space from an outward looking café by day, to an intimate inward looking members' bar by night.
Inspired by the cutting-edge architecture of the café bar, the attention to detail continues with delicious quick snacks, such as Tiger Prawn Skewers with Black Bean Liquor and Cherry Tomato and Bocaccini Spindini, served in chic bento boxes.
Whether it's a coffee break from shopping, or a cool place to meet for a quick snack before viewing an exhibition in the building or purchasing a book or magazine from the bookshop, the RIBA Bar can provide the perfect experience!
Winner of numerous Michelin stars, David Cavalier, has designed the RIBA Bar snack menu. Now food innovation director for the RIBA's contract caterers, Charlton House, David's impressive credentials include Executive Chef roles at Mosimann's and High Holborn.
The RIBA Bar is open to RIBA visitors by day. By night, a range of wines, spirits, bottled beers, cocktails and a selection of tapas-style bar food is available for conference delegates, RIBA members and their guests, and people attending events.
The RIBA Bar is one of three refreshment and eating spaces at the RIBA, 66 Portland Place, W1. The RIBA Restaurant, refurbished by Conran & Partners, occupies two sides of the elegant Florence Hall and has exclusive use of a roof garden terrace during the summer months. The restaurant offers a mid-priced eclectic dining experience in beautiful surroundings. The RIBA Café, situated on the landing of the Florence Hall, offers breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and snacks in a relaxed setting. Both are open to the public. In addition, a variety of function rooms are available for conferences, meetings and events such as private dining, wedding receptions, champagne and canapé receptions and parties.
The headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects is home to the latest architecture exhibitions. There are three spaces that offer visitors the opportunity to experience architectural ideas from around the globe. Also situated on the ground floor, next to the RIBA Bar, is a bookshop with a comprehensive range of titles covering the fields of architecture and design, including the best international interior magazines and many city and restaurant guides.
For further information on the RIBA Bar, RIBA Restaurant or RIBA Cafe please contact 020 7307 3647.

For further information on using the RIBA for an event, please contact 020 7307 3888.

Notes to editors

1. The RIBA Bar is open to the public six days a week: Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm, Sat 9am-4pm.
The RIBA Bar is open exclusively to RIBA members and their guests, along with conference delegates and people attending events: Mon-Fri 6-9pm.
2. For further information contact Melanie Mayfield in the RIBA Press Office on 020 7307 3662 or melanie.mayfield@inst.riba.org|
3. Azman Architects won the contract to design the RIBA Bar through an RIBA competition sponsored by Somfy Ltd.
4. The RIBA Competitions Office organises bespoke architectural competitions that encourage excellence in design, offer value for money, and are run smoothly from inception through to the appointment of a winning design or architect/team.
5. Somfy is the world's leading provider of controls and motors for the automatic movement of solar shading, doors, shutters and windows. The company recently opened its first European showroom for architects at the Business Design Centre in London.


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