RIBA appoints award-winning young architects to design new exhibition gallery

A permanent new gallery space for architecture exhibitions will open at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) at 66 Portland Place, London W1, later this year. The new gallery, to be designed by architects Carmody Groarke, will considerably extend the exhibition space at the RIBA's early Art Deco HQ and transform the entire ground floor of the building, alongside a popular bookshop and café bar, into an accessible area to engage the public with architecture.

With environmentally managed conditions, the new exhibition space will enable the RIBA's British Architectural Library to showcase some of its internationally renowned collections of drawings and photographs, which celebrate the achievements of architects from the Renaissance to the present day.

Speaking today, Harry Rich, RIBA Chief Executive, said:

'I am delighted that we are creating this brand new exhibition space in which we can share our magnificent collections and inspire an even greater audience about architecture.

Our wonderful building and collections are pivotal to our mission to show the centrality of architecture to our society and economy and I am particularly pleased that by opening up 66 Portland Place we can follow through on my commitment to engage many more people in the past, present and future of architecture.'

Opened in 1934, the RIBA's HQ building was the result of a competition-winning entry by the architect George Grey Wornum. With its rich applied decoration and sculpture, it is a classic and stunning example of early 1930s Art Deco architecture.

Carmody Groarke was chosen to design the new gallery after competitive interviews with the five past recipients of BD's Young Architect of the Year Award.


Notes to editors

  • For further information contact Beatrice Cooke in the RIBA Press Office on 020 7307 3813 or e-mail beatrice.cooke@riba.org.
  • The RIBA's British Architectural Library is one of the top three architectural collections in the world and the finest in Europe. Containing over four million items it celebrates the achievements of architects from the Renaissance to the present day. Among many highlights, the collection includes 300 designs and sketches by Andrea Palladio (over 80% of Palladio's drawings). The collection holds many topographical drawings, the most important of which are probably the views of Greek antiquities painted 1751 - 53 by James 'Athenian' Stuart, later engraved for the Antiquities of Athens, and William Daniell's views of India. There are also 10,000 architectural engravings. It also includes some major collections of 20th century architects including Ernö Goldfinger and Sir Denys Lasdun and some works by contemporary architects, including Sir Norman Foster.
  • The Royal Institute of British Architects champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and its members. www.architecture.com
  • The RIBA's existing gallery spaces – Florence Hall, Gallery 1 and Gallery 2 - will continue to hold exhibitions. The RIBA also has a permanent architecture gallery and study rooms at the V&A.
  • Carmody Groarke won BD's Young Architect of the Year Award in 2007. www.carmodygroarke.com