Retrofit & refurbishment / Workspace
Collaborators: Donald Insall Architects, Freehaus

'A collaboration with Feehaus and Donald Insall Associates to reimagine the headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects as a home for architecture and the public.'

IDK were part of a shortlisted collaborative team for the major competition to revitalize the Royal Institute of British Architects at 66 Portland Place london. IDK lead on the approach to exhibition design, seeking to create a bold new cultural offer within the building.

Four galleries for members, collections, the public and public affairs were reconceived as programmes freed from the visible and invisible barriers created by traditional exhibition design. These programmes would permeate the physical and cultural fabric of the building and beyond, as part of an expanded cultural offer.

Our intention was to allow programmes, events, members and the public to cross-fertilise to enrich the visitor experience. In order to support this permeability and facilitate free exchange, each programme was given an anchor space in the building, tailored to its particular requirements.

The RIBA’s motto translates from Latin as “For the use of the people and the glory of the city”. By stripping back, challenging and making visible the material and narrative layers of 66 Portland Place, we looked to radically enshrine these values in the design; putting remembered, lost and hidden histories into conversation, and creating honest and embracing spaces for the people of the city and beyond, in contemporary ways and in readiness for the challenges of the future.