IMPORTANT Website terms of use and cookie statement

RIBA and British Council Open Door 2022: Meet the Expert Advisory Group

Meet the panel of experts who were part of the Open Door 2022 Expert Advisory Group. Open Door is a partnership with the British Council and celebrates the best in heritage and conservation sites and buildings in the UK and mainland China.

21 April 2022

Meet the panel of experts who were part of the Open Door Expert Advisory Group for 2022.

In partnership with the British Council, Open Door recognises and celebrates the best in heritage and conservation sites and buildings in the UK and mainland China.

There are numerous examples of successful heritage conservation in both China and the UK. By promoting these works, the Open Door project strengthened understanding of heritage buildings, their uses, and how they benefit communities and their users.

The international experts were:

Ben Derbyshire PPRIBA, Hon AIA, FRSA, Dip Arch Cantab

Ben is Chair of HTA Design LLP, a leading multidisciplinary design practice specialising in housing and placemaking where his role also includes directing the practice’s internal design review processes and leading its marketing effort.

He is a Commissioner of Historic England, serving on their London Advisory Committee, High Streets Heritage Action Zone Board and is Chair of the Historic Places Panel.

Ben sits on the governing court of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects and is President of the London Forum of Amenity and Civic Societies. Other current roles include membership of New London Architecture’s New London Sounding Board and of the NHBC Council.

He was President of RIBA from 2017 to 2019 where he oversaw fundamental change in the financing and governance of the institute and the instigation of policies in relation to climate action, professional competence, and codes of conduct. He also played a key role in supporting the institute’s launch into China and support for the RIBA China Chapter following several visits to the country.

Ben Derbyshire

LU Wenyu

Lu Wenyu co-founded Amateur Architecture Studio in Hangzhou, China with Wang Shu in 1997, having studied architecture at Nanjing Institute of Technology.

She is one of the founders and currently tutors at the architecture department at China Academy of Art and is a visiting Professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design, MIT, and University College London.

Amateur Architecture Studio is known for its contemporary use of natural materials and craftsmanship and champions traditional Chinese construction techniques and heritage architecture. The practice has completed numerous projects, such as Ningbo Historic Museum, Xiangshan Campus of China Academy of Art, Preservation, and the renovation of Southern Song Imperial Street, Fuyang Cultural Complex, the renovation of Wencun Village, and Lin An Historic Museum.

Lu received the 2019 Gold Medal of Tau Sigma Delta and is the juror of UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. She was awarded the Schelling Architecture Prize in Germany, the Honorary Award from the Venice Biennale in 2010, and listed among the RIBA 2015 Fellowships. Amateur Architecture received one of architecture’s highest accolades, being awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2012.

LU Wenyu

Chen Xiong

Chen Xiong graduated from the South China Institute of Technology in 1986 and is now the Director, Deputy General Manager, and Chief Architect of Guangdong Architectural Design & Research Institute. He is the National Master of Project Survey and Design, a first-class Registered Architect, and professor-level Senior Architect. He was recently listed as one of the RIBA China Architect 100 architects of contemporary China.

Across three decades of professional practice, Chen Xiong has directed and participated in the architectural design of numerous large and super large construction projects, gaining extensive experience in the design and engineering of large-span buildings and high-rise buildings. In particular, being well-established in the design of complicated large-scale public buildings such as airport terminal and stadiums His representative projects include Terminals 1/2/3 of Guangzhou New Baiyun International Airport, Guangzhou Asian Games Gymnasium, Dongfeng Gymnasium, Huadu, Guangzhou, Jinshan Lake Swimming and Diving Natatorium, Huizhou, Haide Plaza, Dongguan, Guangzhou Science City S & T Talent Apartments, Chaoshan Airport Terminal, SFK Complex of Kuiqi Lu, Foshan, Zhaoqing New Area Sports Center, and the Poly Center in Hengqin, Zhuhai.  

Geoff Rich BA(Hons) BArch(Hons) AABC RIBA-SCA

Geoff is an architect and Managing Partner at RIBA Stirling Prize-winning practice Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, based in Bath, south west England. He completed his architectural studies with first class honours at the University of Newcastle.

He takes a leading role in the practice’s creative re-use and regeneration work. He is a former S.P.A.B. Lethaby Scholar, and an accredited conservation architect with both the AABC and the RIBA schemes. His recent projects include the major repair and renovation of Bath Abbey. Previous work includes projects on the National Museums Liverpool masterplan, Middleport Pottery in Stoke on Trent, and the award-winning work on the Royal Palaces at Hampton Court and Windsor Castle.

Feilden Clegg Bradley is known for their creative re-invention of C20 buildings such as the restoration and redesign of London’s Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, and Hayward Gallery.

Geoff is a member of Historic England’s Historic Places Panel, and Chairman of the Fabric Advisory Council for Exeter Cathedral. He is a visiting lecturer on conservation, regeneration, and sustainability at several universities.

Geoff Rich


Dr Wei Yang is Chair of Wei Yang & Partners, an award-winning master planning firm in London.

Wei is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and was President of the Royal Town Planning Institute for 2021. She promotes a green and low carbon development approach, and champions a modernised planning profession as co-chair of Digital Task Force for Planning.

Wei has been the UK co-chair of the UK-China Eco-Cities and Green Building Group and was seconded as British Principal Planning Expert, advising the Chinese Ministry of Housing & Urban-Rural Development on sustainable urbanisation. She led the UK-China pilot project ‘the Green & Low-Carbon Development of Small Towns in China’ and recently advised the Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources on China’s national spatial planning reform.

She is an Honorary Professor at University College London and the Global Planners Network (GPN)’s representative at the UN Habitat Professional Forum. She has co-authored several books including Humanistic Pure Land and Garden Cities and A Digital Future for Planning – Spatial Planning Reimagined.

Find out more information about the 14 finalists.

Dr Wei Yang

Latest updates

keyboard_arrow_up To top