Professor Florian Beigel named winner of the RIBA Annie Spink Award 2014

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has named Professor Florian Beigel as the winner of the 2014 RIBA Annie Spink Award for Excellence in Architectural Education.

This prestigious award is awarded biennially to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the ‘advancement of architectural education’ in a school of architecture anywhere in the world that offers courses validated by the RIBA.

RIBA Vice-President Education and chair of the judging panel, Roz Barr said: “Congratulations to Professor Florian Beigel for receiving this award in recognition of his sustained influence on architectural education and on generations of students, architects, and fellow tutors. Over four decades of inspirational teaching, Florian Beigel has revealed an unparalleled commitment to the School of Architecture of the London Metropolitan University framed in entirely unique terms. His penetrating intelligence, generous spirit, and abundant talent as an architect make him a most deserving winner of the RIBA Annie Spink Award.”

On receiving the news of the award, Florian Beigel said: “It is a real honour to be given this award and recognition for one’s role as an educator in architecture. To those whom have generously nominated me for this award and given their backing with such enthusiasm, thank you. 

“All through the years the aim has been to give the students a love and passion for architecture.

“I am an architect that likes to build, and I believe that it is important that the architectural works that I do with my colleagues can offer insights to students. Our practice (design as research) informs the teaching, and the teaching informs the practice. In this way, there has always been a balance between practice, research and teaching.

“I’d very much like to thank the many friends and colleagues who have collaborated with me and given their support in the Architecture Research Unit and the teaching through the years at the CASS. I’d particularly like to thank Philip Christou, whom I’ve taught together with and collaborated in practice for 30 years. Without him I could not have done it. It is for this reason that I’d like to dedicate this award to Philip.”   


Notes to editors

  1. For further press information contact Howard Crosskey in the RIBA Press Office: 020 7307 3761
  2. Florian Beigel’s involvement with the School of Architecture of London Metropolitan University dates back to his appointment as a design tutor in 1973 when the institution formed part of the Polytechnic of North London. His practice, the Architecture Research Unit (ARU), has operated out of the school since 1979 providing a pioneering model for the integration of professional and educational activity. For the past 41 years, ARU’s work has been published internationally and won numerous awards while many of Florian’s former students have gone on to establish distinguished careers in their own right. Guided by a poetic and politicized preoccupation to cultivate the city as a place of social encounter and charged spatial definition, Florian’s work both as a teacher and as the director of ARU has always been directed towards developing strategies by which a culture of public life might be sustained. If that endeavour initially presented a particularly radical challenge to Britain’s urban culture, it went on to shape generations of architects and find influence across the world, notably in South Korea where he has realised a series of projects and where former students and collaborators went on to operate practices of their own.
  3. The 2014 Annie Spink judging panel included:
  • Chair: Roz Barr (Roz Barr Architects and RIBA Vice-President Education)
  • Tamsin Hanke (Part 2 graduate Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL; RIBA President’s Dissertation Medallist 2013)
  • Deborah Howard (Professor Emerita of Architectural History and Director of Research in the Faculty of Architecture and History of Art, University of Cambridge)
  • Joseph Rykwert (architectural historian and critic; Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania; RIBA Royal Gold Medallist 2014)
  • John Tuomey (O'Donnell + Tuomey; Professor of Architectural Design, University College Dublin; RIBA Royal Gold Medallist 2015)
  1. The £10,000 Annie Spink award is financed by the Annie Spink Trust Fund, which was established in 1974 by architect Herbert Spink FRIBA. He bequeathed the trust as a lasting memorial to his wife Annie, who died in 1938, and conceived it as an honour for the ‘advancement of architectural education’. For further information about the award, please visit
  2. For further funding information please visit the RIBA Education pages at or contact John-Paul Nunes, Head of Education Projects on 020 7307 3604 or


Posted on Monday 1st December 2014