Updates to our RIBA Awards entry process for 2023 – a note from Denise Bennetts, Chair of our Awards Group

Denise Bennetts, Chair of our Awards Group outlines some key updates to our RIBA Awards entry process for 2023

16 November 2022

Viewed globally as the gold-standard in architectural awards, RIBA Awards have championed and celebrated the best architecture in the UK and around the world for over 50 years.

The Award-winning projects proudly demonstrate advancements and innovations in architecture, and at their core display a commitment to designing and developing buildings and spaces that enhance people’s everyday lives.

Following detailed consultations, we have introduced some key updates for this year’s programme.

Introducing the Reinvention Award

We have launched the Reinvention Award, a new award which will celebrate the creative transformation of an existing building and its vital contribution to environmental, social and economic sustainability. This forms part of the wider work we are doing to ensure sustainability is at the heart of our awards programme, as it becomes ever more aligned to the targets set out in our 2030 Climate Challenge. Championing architects who are creating sustainable, future-focussed solutions is key – and adaption and reuse form a major part of this. Often not the simplest solution, this approach requires exceptional creativity and vision – which no doubt we will see demonstrated in the projects submitted.

Find out more on the RIBA Reinvention Award

Changes to the Stephen Lawrence Prize

Following a detailed review, the eligibility for the Stephen Lawrence Prize has changed. Whilst historically the prize has been awarded to a project with a construction budget of less than £1 million, it will now instead be awarded to a project led by an early career architect – aimed at celebrating new architectural talent. Further to this, a student, selected by the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation, will form part of the jury and will go on to be mentored by the winning project architect. This is part of our combined commitment to support the next generation of architects.

More details to follow.

Some housekeeping

Entry System:

You may notice, the entry system looks a little different this year! We are hosting it on a new platform which we hope you will find straightforward and easy to use. One key change is that the login for the new platform is integrated with our website, so entrants will need to use their RIBA Account details to login to this platform.

Entry deadline:

Please note the deadline for the 2023 submissions is 17:00 (GMT) on 12 January 2023 and has now closed.

This is to allow enough time for thorough checks of submissions and liaison with entrants prior to the regional shortlisting meetings, ensuring all the necessary information has been supplied and is accurate at the earliest stage possible.

Early bird discount of 10% (fees variable depending on project size) will end at 23:59 (GMT) on 15 December 2022. Prices are listed on the Entry Guidelines webpage.

The deadline to apply for RIBA Chartered Membership to enter this year’s awards is 14 December 2022. If you think you may not receive your membership in time for the early bird rate entry fee, please email awards@riba.org to let us know in advance.

Project eligibility:

All projects entered must have been in use for at least one year. This means that for the 2023 Awards, the project must have been completed between October 2019 and January 2022 and occupied by January 2022 (one year before entries to the 2023 Awards close).

This enables jury members to visit and judge buildings that have already been thoroughly tested by their users – ensuring they can consider client feedback and, depending on project, real in-use energy performance data when judging.

Previously unsuccessful projects can re-enter if they still meet the eligibility criteria.

Project sustainability:

The requirements for information regarding sustainability will increase as projects move forward in the process - greater detail will be needed for a project at Stirling Prize and National Awards level compared with those eligible for RIBA Regional Awards. We will also now be asking when planning approval was secured for all projects entered.

Financial support:

In an effort to make our awards more inclusive and accessible, we are now offering support to those experiencing financial hardship via discounted or free entry. Please note that applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Find out more here.

And finally:

There is one entry system for the UK Awards – should your project be eligible for any of the Special Awards, at both the Regional and National level, there will be the opportunity to opt in for these in the entry form.

The Awards programme is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate professional achievements and contributions to society. I send the very best of luck to all entrants.

Please Note: Entries for the 2023 RIBA UK Awards have now closed. The 2024 RIBA UK Awards will open for entries this Autumn.


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