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Benedetti Architects selected to refurbish RIBA Headquarters

United Kingdom Architecture News - May 30, 2022 - 11:31   1499 views

Benedetti Architects selected to refurbish RIBA Headquarters

London-based studio Benedetti Architects has been selected to refurbish and modernize The Royal Institute of British Architects' central headquarters in London, United Kingdom

Benedetti Architects will lead a design team tasked with transforming the RIBA’s Grade II* listed HQ into a dynamic, accessible and sustainable building at 66 Portland Place, London.

Benedetti Architects will now work with the RIBA to complete the full feasibility study, which will include the appointment of several smaller practices.

"It’s a tremendous honour to be chosen for this once-in-a-lifetime project. We adore 66 Portland Place and agree it needs comprehensive improvements to be fit for purpose to secure its sustainable future culturally and environmentally, as an exemplar for architects, and for the communication of architecture’s significance to the broadest possible audience," said Renato Benedetti, Director of Benedetti Architects. 

"As a wide-eyed Canadian student who first visited in 1983, the RIBA felt like the architectural epicentre of the world to me. It would be great to rekindle that sense of excitement and relevance for future generations of architects and lovers of architecture," Benedetti added.

Benedetti Architects was founded by Renato Benedetti in 2016. The chartered practice continues to further its established international reputation for design excellence in an unusually diverse range of projects across different types and scales including: Public & Cultural, Historic buildings, Housing, Houses & Apartments, Offices, Bridges, Public Realm & Masterplanning, Retail and Education & Health.

Benedetti Architects has worked on the refurbishment of a number of Grade II listed buildings including the award-winning BAFTA Headquarters, Oliver’s Wharf Penthouse, and Portsmouth Guildhall.

"This project will be a key physical manifestation of our House of Architecture programme"

“We were very impressed with the quality and consideration evidenced in every shortlisted proposal, but ultimately Benedetti Architects’ vision for our project secured their win. They also enthusiastically embraced our idea to work collaboratively with other practices in later stages," said RIBA President Simon Allford.

"The transformation of 66 Portland Place is an incredible opportunity for the RIBA and Benedetti Architects to build a detailed brief, a team and a project that is vital to the future of the RIBA."

"This project will be a key physical manifestation of our House of Architecture programme – enabling us to encourage collaboration and inspire architects and architecture. Crucially we will be delivering many activities globally and virtually too, with our own HQ building providing a strong foundation and destination."

"The Lead Architect is also tasked with the practical challenge of bringing a listed building up to scratch, from an accessibility and sustainability perspective. This is urgent and essential work to make 66 Portland Place fit for the future."

"Congratulations to Benedetti Architects – I look forward to working closely together on the next stage," added Allford.

RIBA said that "the firm was selected from a shortlist of seven proposals in the second competitive interview phase, based on quality and approach, sustainability strategy, team, methodology and EDI."

The judging panel comprised: Simon Allford, RIBA President; Simone de Gale, RIBA Board Member and Honorary Treasurer; Liam McConnell, RIBA Director of Estates & Facilities; Murray Orr, RIBA Board Member (Business & Enterprise); Jack Pringle, RIBA Board Chair; Neal Shasore, Chief Executive/Head of School at The London School of Architecture; MaryAnne Stevens, RIBA Board Member (Heritage); Alan Vallance, RIBA Chief Executive and Sarah Williams, RIBA Client Adviser.

RIBA added that "Design and funding options will be considered by the RIBA Board for decision in due course." 

Construction is expected to start early 2024.

Top image: RIBA, 66 Portland Place. Image © Philip Vile, courtesy of RIBA. 

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