Benedetti Architects has been selected to lead the refurbishment of the Royal Institute of British Architects’ headquarters at 66 Portland Place, London.


The Royal Institute of British Architects’ headquarters at 66 Portland Place, London. Photograph by Philip Vile

The announcement follows an open call for expressions of interest for the project, which aims to modernise RIBA’s Grade II* listed headquarters in central London, improving its sustainability and accessibility. 

“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 Benedetti Architects director Renato Benedetti.

 “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 Architects’ proposal was selected from a shortlist of seven schemes by a panel comprising RIBA President Simon Allford, RIBA Board member and Honorary Treasurer Simone de Gale, RIBA Head of Estates & Facilities Liam McConnell, RIBA Board member (Business & Enterprise) Murray Orr, Chair of the RIBA Board Jack Pringle, RIBA Board member (Heritage) MaryAnne Stevens, RIBA Chief Executive Alan Vallance and Sarah Williams, RIBA Architect Adviser.

The other practices contending for the project were: David Kohn Architects, Donald Insall Associates, Freehaus and IDK, Feix&Merlin with Haptic Architects & Heritage Architecture, Hall McKnight, Hugh Broughton Architects and Roz Barr Architects.

“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,” he continued. “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.”

Several smaller practices are to be appointed to contribute to the scheme to create a “rejuvenated home” for RIBA.  

“We were highly impressed and enthused with proposals presented by Renato and his team at Benedetti Architects. They were thoughtful, full of energy and delivered on each aspect of the brief. Their appointment aligns with our vision for the RIBA in creating a House of Architecture for all,” said RIBA Board Member and Honorary Treasurer Simone de Gale.