WAN Awards 2015


WAN Mobile
WAN Mobile
Previous Next

RIBA Awards, London, United Kingdom

Thursday 29 May 2008

UK awards spark row

Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 0

Add comments | More comments

Be the first to comment


RIBA accused of operating “closed shop” 

This year’s Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) awards, which should have been a celebration of good architecture, has instead has re-ignited the ongoing Modern versus Classic row. The ‘long list’ of projects selected by the RIBA panel consists almost entirely of Modernist buildings sparking a venomous tirade from Quinlan Terry, one the UK’s strongest advocates of the classical style, calling the RIBA awards a closed shop for modernists and added, “The RIBA Awards are jobs for the boys and beneath contempt; I simply wouldn’t bother to consider them.”

In response, senior RIBA panelist Joanna Van Heyningan said that, “The quality of traditional architecture has rarely been good enough to deserve an award.”

The winners of the RIBA regional awards essentially make up the feeder for the Stirling Prize in September, the UK’s most prestigious award.

A house voted by the UK’s Georgian Group this year as the “best new building in the classical tradition” was entered for the national RIBA Award by its designer, Robert Adam never got beyond the first stage and was rejected by a panel of local architects. A leading traditional architect and himself a judge of RIBA Awards for 12 years, Robert Adam said, “This doesn’t surprise me, it’s well-known in the profession that traditional buildings don’t get RIBA Awards. In this case, it’s unusual to have such a clear-cut example where an expert body has given it the highest accolade only to have the professional institution reject it out of hand. I just wish the RIBA would be honest and admit that their awards aren’t for architecture at all but just for one kind of architecture – the contemporary or modernist style.”

Left: Denton Corker Marshall's Manchester Civil Justice Centre was a winner of the North West regional award.
Below: Robert Adam’s New House, in Hampshire got nowhere

Key Facts

Status ongoing
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
WAN Editorial

More projects by this architect

WAN AWARDS: Mixed-Use Award 2014

Shop Talk: Richard Coleman

WAN AWARDS: Product Innovation award 2014

Brick by William Hall

WAN AWARDS Residential winners 2014

More Projects

Latest Jobs in London

Project Coordinator

Senior Architect - Workplace

Architect - Historic Environment

Qualified Architect

Head of Programme: Architecture

Creative Individuals

Director of The Architecture Foundation

Project Architect


Click here to view the NEWS IN PICTURES tablet site