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Peter Murray



RIBA Friends have a couple of walks and tours coming up that will be of interest to members.


Architecture Tour: White Collar Factory: Monday 11 September, 12:30pm to 2pm

Come and explore the White Collar Factory, a 16-storey tower at the epicentre of London’s ‘Tech City.’ The building is in Old Street Yard and provides a mix of living and incubator working spaces to make a new place in the city which combines the efficiencies of a new build with the character of a 19th century warehouse.

The group will be taken around the building by the project architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) and developer Derwent. Further details here.

Architecture Walking Tour: Pathways to Mayfair: Saturday 16 September, 11am to 1pm

From open fields to shepherds’ markets to one of the most affluent areas in London today, Mayfair is a byword for luxury. In the third of our 2017 series of walks with the London Ambler, we explore the architectural history in and around Mayfair, ending at 66 Portland Place. Further details here.

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Peter Murray

RIBA is hosting an evening of “attempted stand-up comedy” with MC Steve Cross, to raise money for the RIBA Student Hardship Fund which helps to make architecture accessible to all.

Called How Did It End Up Like That?, the evening features a line-up of experts from across the world of architecture, from creators of iconic buildings, to people who train new architects and historians who try to understand how we ended up with the buildings and cities we have now.

It promises to be a night of learning cunningly disguised as a hilarious evening out! Tickets are available here,

Increasing numbers of architecture students are facing financial hardship continuing their studies. The RIBA provides grants to those students most in need through our Student Hardship Fund. The purposes of the RIBA Student Hardship Funds are to:

  • Alleviate financial hardship of students of architecture
  • Assist students financially in gaining professional experience
  • Widen participation in architectural education
  • Reduce student drop-out rates

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Peter Murray


The RIBA Stirling Prize: 2041oszqo2tl

by Tony Chapman

Review by Chris Panfil

For dozens of recommended London Books, check out the London Society Book Service in association with John Sandoe Bookshop

Tony Chapman’s “The RIBA Stirling Prize 20” is a beautifully and comprehensively illustrated book showcasing the winning and the shortlisted projects of this prestigious architecture award from its inception in 1996 until 2015. The introduction gives an overview of the history of the award and why it was named in honour of the architect Sir James Stirling – who apparently hated the RIBA. The rest of the introduction text is at times amusing, but at others opaque, with inside jokes and in-house references that most readers won’t be able to follow.

The main body of the book contains a useful summary list of the winners from 1996 to 2005, but unfortunately, a similar list is missing from the book for the period 2006 to 2015. That’s a particular shame, as such a snap-shot would efficiently illustrate the changing juries’ success in adhering to the selection criteria for the award. This was first set out by the RIBA as “not a question of style or appearance, it’s how you organise spaces and movement from a place and an activity; it’s nothing to do with appearance.” These words were first written by the late Sir James and are implicitly or explicitly accepted by most members of the western architectural establishment, at least since the dawn of post-modern times. However, the rich variety of architectural expression exhibited in the diversity of the winning projects suggest that “style” is a significant contributing component to the award. The winning projects over the years represent either the audacious design style and architectural virtuosity of practices such as Zaha Hadid, Alsop & Störmer, or Future Systems. Alternatively, it is the restrained style and ordered manner of a proto-modernism exhibited by such winners as Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios or David Chipperfield that succeeds in securing the award.

Read More…

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Peter Murray

An architectural Walking Tour of St James’s on Sunday 20 November 11am to 1pm with RIBA Friends.

Mike Althorpe (‘The London Ambler’) will be leading this walking tour of St James’s. Situated right in the heart of the west end, the area is characterised by sophistication and refinement. Mike will chars the development of this unique place through its key buildings, streets and spaces.

Tickets are £15 for RIBA Friends and £20 for non-members and are available by calling 020 7307 3809. If you have any queries, please contact Lisa or Flora at

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Peter Murray


news_393_0_largeCongratulations to London Society trustee Ben Derbyshire who has been elected the next President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), taking over the two-year presidential term from Jane Duncan on 1 September 2017.

Ben is Managing Partner at HTA Design LLP, a design-based consultancy to the home building industry, specialising in placemaking, providing project management, masterplanning, urban design, architecture, landscape design, planning, technical design, graphics, web and app design and other disciplines. He has built up broad-ranging expertise through involvement in much of HTA’s work in regeneration, masterplanning, housing and mixed use design.

Ben Derbyshire said:

Once again we find ourselves in turbulent times. In winning this election I am conscious of a great sense of responsibility owed to architects everywhere, in all corners of the UK and overseas. Jane Duncan has laid the foundations for change at the RIBA that I look forward to driving forward, when I take up the role of President. My primary goal is to champion architects so that they, our sister professions and clients, can advance architecture as the cornerstone of the well-designed and more sustainable built environment society desperately needs.(Full text here)

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