On 11 November, to coincide with Built Environment Day at COP26, a reception evening was held for local RIBA Chartered Members and stakeholders within the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. The event celebrated the best of the RIBA Stirling Prize 2021 shortlist and facilitated a platform for built environment professionals to gather together and discuss the different approaches and solutions architects and design professionals can offer to tackle the climate crisis while continuing to champion excellence in architecture and design. This event was sponsored by Geberit.
The event included welcome notes by:
- Simon Allford, RIBA President
- Alan Vallance, RIBA Chief Executive Officer
- Azlina Bulmer, RIBA Director of International
- Mithuna Murugesh, RIBA Gulf Business Development Manager
- Andy Shaw, RIBA Gulf Chapter Chair
The RIBA reception at the UK Pavilion celebrated the best of the RIBA Stirling Prize 2021 shortlist, now in its 25th year. The Stirling Prize is awarded to the UK’s best new building, with the 2021 winner being Kingston University London – Town House by Grafton Architects.
The event was welcomed by Azlina Bulmer, Director of International at RIBA and talked about the importance of this networking event as it is dedicated to Cities, Regions, and the Built Environment Day at COP26. The RIBA aims to create a strong profile at the COP and at a wider global level by showcasing design excellence to be a key part of the solutions to the climate crisis.
A recording message of Simon Allford, President RIBA, and Alan Vallance, CEO RIBA was played during the networking event as well to welcome the esteemed members and guests.
Simon addressed that it is hugely important for the RIBA and its members, to influence clients and governments to support low carbon architecture and address the dynamic relationship between embodied and operational as well as collaboratively help lead environmental design in a post-COVID-19 world. The RIBA aims to create a strong link between championing excellence in design internationally as a fundamental link to tackling the climate crisis.
Alan Vallance also shared with us his live recorded video while he was at COP26. Alan highlighted that since the opening of the RIBA's first international office in Sharjah, UAE two years ago we are able to continue carrying out regional operational activities and events. Also, with the support of the RIBA Gulf Chapter, our local member volunteer group, the support and presence of local architects is now 12 years strong.
Alan also said: "Due to the COVID pandemic, much of our work has had to be virtual over the last year and a half, however, we are pleased to welcome you all to one of the first in-person RIBA events in the region after an 18 month break."
For any upcoming events and activities in the region, please visit the RIBA Gulf page.