- Original design
- Grey Wornum, 1932
The 2018 programme is now past. We will be launching the 2019 programme mid-August.
The present headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects, which was opened on 8 November 1934 by King George V and Queen Mary, was designed by G Grey Wornum CBE, FRIBA (1888-1957), who won the commission in an open architectural competition that attracted 284 entries. The foundation stone was laid by Lord Howard de Walden on 28 June 1933.
In 1970, on the recommendation of the Historic Buildings Council, the RIBA building was listed by the Minister of Housing and Local Government as a Grade II building of architectural and historic importance, one of the very first examples of 'modern architecture' to be so recognised.
The six-storey building is faced in Portland Stone. The sculpted figures on the Portland Place front depict the spirit of man and woman as the creative forces of architecture. Along the Weymouth Street elevation, above the third-storey window line, are five relief figures, depicting a painter, a sculptor, an architect (Sir Christopher Wren), an engineer and a working man. The interior of the building is finely detailed in a variety of materials.
Join us for the annual event of Open House. Explore the RIBA's Headquarters through a series of drop-in and timed workshops, tours and activities throughout the day in this splendid art deco building.
Guided Tours, timed activity
Join us for a guided tour of our Grade II* headquarters to find out what goes on behind our Portland stone façade.
Tours take place at 11:00am, 12.15pm and 1.30pm and 2.45pm. Tours last approximately 45 minutes and leave from the reception desk. Please note that the fourth floor is currently undergoing construction and so access to this floor is limited only to passing through the space.
Max 20 per tour, first come, first served – please sign up at reception from 11am.
Show and Tell, 12-2pm
Explore a selection photographs from the RIBA collections that show the history and development of the RIBA building. With Photographs Curator, Valeria Carullo.
From 12 to 2pm
Creative Activities, 11am-4pm
Drop in to create your own badge to take away, or be inspired by our art deco interiors and details and create a drawing that you can add to our exhibition.
You are welcome to explore our building on your own using one of our fact sheets. Family activity packs are also available.
About the Event
For all ages. Children must be supervised by an adult at all times.
All events are free, but you must register online beforehand.
Some events may run a waiting list depending on demand.
Photography and filming will be taking place during the event – please speak to a member of staff on the day if you have any concerns.