About us

Our history

The RIBA was founded in 1834 for ‘…the general advancement of Civil Architecture, and for promoting and facilitating the acquirement of the knowledge of the various arts and sciences connected therewith…’.

We do not receive any government funding but rely on our 40,000 Members, sponsors and our charitable trading operations to make our work possible.

Here are some of our key dates…

2009      We celebrated our 175th anniversary with a series of events throughout the year.
2004 Public launch of the V&A+RIBA Architecture Partnership with the opening at the V&A of the Architecture Gallery and Study Room, and relocation of the RIBA Drawing & Archives Collections.
2003-04 Formal restructuring of the RIBA with the establishment of RIBA Professional Services, RIBA Holdings and RIBA Trust.
1996 RIBA Stirling Prize inaugurated (televised from 2000).
1984 150th anniversary of the RIBA with the ‘monstrous carbuncle’ speech by Prince Charles at the anniversary dinner.
1960s Development of the RIBA as a regional organization. Eastern Region office in Cambridge was first to open in 1966.
1939-45 RIBA War Executive Committee ran the Institute arranging government appointments for architects. RIBA Refugees Committee helped many exiled architects obtain employment in the UK.
1934 Moved to current purpose built headquarters at 66 Portland Place in central London. Opened by King George V and Queen Mary.
1914-18 Architects War Committee established to liaise with government on use of architects in the war effort.
1904 Board of Architectural Education established. Development of system of recognition of architectural schools.
1894 Publication of the first RIBA Journal.
1886 Reorganisation of Institute’s work with four new departmental standing committees created: Art, Science, Practice and Literature.
1848 Royal Gold Medal instituted by Queen Victoria.
1837 Awarded Royal Charter. Much of the RIBA’s early work was concerned with formulating rules for fees, practice and conduct.
1834 Institute of British Architects founded.

Top of page