RIBA headquarters at 66 Portland Place

RIBA looking for architect for "comprehensive refurbishment" of own headquarters

The Royal Institute of British Architects has announced that it is seeking an architect to redesign its central London headquarters at 66 Portland Place.

The organisation requires a lead architect to transform its art deco headquarters into "an accessible 21st-century building, and an exemplar of re-use and sustainable design".

The winning team will lead a complete renovation of the Royal Institute of British Architects' (RIBA) six-storey headquarters at 66 Portland Place, which is a Grade II*-listed building.

Renovation to be "an exemplar of re-use and sustainable design"

RIBA wants the renovation to turn the building into a cultural hub with office space for its employees, while demonstrating the organisation's sustainability ideals.

"This presents a great opportunity for a practice to join our team and play a key role in the transformation of 66 Portland Place into an accessible 21st-century building, and an exemplar of re-use and sustainable design," said RIBA president Simon Allford.

"The building will be a physical stage for our House of Architecture concept – a space where members, visitors and RIBA colleagues can find inspiration, stimulation and make connections."

As part of the renovation of the 1930s building, the team will provide four gallery spaces in the building: a public gallery, a members' gallery, a collections gallery and a public affairs gallery, along with flexible workspaces for all of its staff.

Bars, restaurants, and cafes will also be "interwoven throughout the building".

Spaces including Lutyens Room to be restored

RIBA wants the redesign to pay particular attention to rethinking the entrance of the building and potentially moving the bookshop.

The project will also include the restoration of some of the building's most significant spaces including the Jarvis Auditorium, Aston Webb and Lutyens Rooms, and Florence Hall.

Completed in 1934, RIBA's headquarters was designed by George Grey Wornum, who would later go on to be awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal.

The design for the art deco office building was chosen following a competition that attracted 284 entries.

The building's renovation forms part of a reorganisation of RIBA's London headquarters, which will see its property at 76 Portland Place, which was renovated by architecture studio Theis + Khan in 2015, sold.

Photography is courtesy of RIBA.