The Royal Society of Architects in Wales in pleased to announce the appointment of its 33rd Honorary Member: Menna Richards

Once in each Presidential term, RSAW members and Branches may nominate individuals to be made Honorary Members of the the Royal Society of Architects in Wales. On 5 December, RSAW Immediate Past President Robert Firth welcomed Menna Richards, former Controller of BBC Wales, as our 33rd Honorary Member, in a ceremony at Insole Court, Llandaff.

Menna Richards has been a client of award-wining buildings, a lay assessor for the RSAW Welsh Architecture Awards and a panel member for the Dewi-Prys Thomas prize. In her specialist field of media and broadcasting, especially during her 11 years as Controller of BBC Wales to 2011, Menna Richards can be said to have put Wales on the cultural world stage. She was responsible for bringing BAFTA-winning productions to Cardiff, such as Casualty, Doctor Who and Sherlock.

Menna’s advocacy of architecture is well-known. As a non-executive board member of Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water Menna was responsible, with others, for the commissioning of the Llandegfedd Visitor Centre and Watersports Centre by Hall + Bednarczyk Architects, which has won many awards, including RSAW Building of the Year 2016 and a Highly Commended accolade in the RIBA Journal McEwan Prize.

Prior to this, Menna was the client for the BBC Orchestra of Wales’s rehearsal and performance space, the Hoddinott Hall, in the Wales Millennium Centre.

In 2015, Menna was appointed to chair the jury for the Dewi-Prys Tomas prize, when her insightful commentary at the awards ceremony was evidence of her broad vision and ability to evaluate a diverse range of nominated schemes and individuals. She later acted as lay assessor for the RSAW Welsh Architecture Awards, as part of the jury with Kay Hyde and Chris Loyn as Jury Chair.

On 1st March 2016, RSAW invited Menna to chair the Senedd10 St David’s Day celebration event to mark the building’s tenth anniversary. Menna’s meticulous research and preparation, combined with her personal charm and ability to skilfully pose and interpret technical questions, made for an enjoyable and revealing interaction. With a public audience of 180 guests, the event was described by many members who attended as the most influential and memorable event in RSAW’s history.

In recent years, the support Menna has generously given to RSAW marks her out as a true friend of Welsh architecture. The Royal Society of Architects in Wales is delighted to recognise Menna’s contribution to Welsh culture and the civic life of Wales by welcoming her as an Honorary Member.

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