RIBA launches new global architecture award: The RIBA International Prize

  • The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announces a major new prize to discover the world’s best new buildings and to celebrate the value of architecture to communities worldwide.
  • The RIBA International Prize will be awarded to the most significant and inspirational building of the year. The winning building will demonstrate visionary, innovative thinking and excellence of execution, whilst making a distinct contribution to its users and to its physical context.
  • Setting a new global standard for architectural achievement, the prize will be judged by an expert panel led by world-renowned architect, Lord Rogers of Riverside (Richard Rogers).
  • The winner of the first RIBA International Prize will be announced at a ceremony in London in December 2016.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is delighted to announce the 2016 RIBA International Prize, a new global architecture award for the world’s best new building. Opening for entries today (Tuesday 8 December 2015), the RIBA International Prize will be awarded to a building of any type or budget and in any country, which exemplifies design excellence, architectural ambition and which delivers meaningful social impact. The prize is open to any qualified architect in the world.

The winner will be chosen by a Grand Jury led by acclaimed architect Richard Rogers and including Kunlé Adeyemi, founder and principal of NLÉ and Philip Gumuchdjian, founder of Gumuchdjian Architects, Chair of RIBA’s awards committee. The full jury will be announced in due course.

RIBA’s rigorous judging process will see two expert panels of jurors visit each of the shortlisted buildings twice in person, before the Grand Jury selects six finalists to visit once more to decide on the winning building.

Speaking today, RIBA President Jane Duncan said:

“We are thrilled to launch this new award to recognise and celebrate architectural excellence across the world. It is our intention that the RIBA International Prize will uncover the world’s most innovative and visionary architecture and spark local and global debates about the positive impact that well-designed buildings and places can have on their communities and environment.”

Richard Rogers, Chair of the Grand Jury welcomed the Prize:

“I’m delighted to lead the jury for the inaugural RIBA International Prize, and look forward to discovering how architecture is reacting to and resolving issues posed by the changing demands of a global community. We look forward to establishing the RIBA International Prize
as a new standard by which to assess and promote design excellence on a global scale.”

Kunlé Adeyemi, Founding Director of NLÉ Projects and fellow judge commented:

“It’s a privilege to be a part of the inaugural RIBA International Prize grand jury, where we hope to discover the most exciting and ambitious buildings being created across the world. This is the first time RIBA have opened their awards to any architect from any country, and I look forward to exploring how this helps us learn how architects worldwide are responding to the unique challenges and opportunities of their local geographies with resourceful and innovative solutions.”

The RIBA International Prize is in association with the UIA (Union Internationale des Architectes).

Wallpaper* Magazine is the exclusive lifestyle media partner for the RIBA International Prize.

Dezeen is the exclusive professional media partner for the RIBA International Prize.

To enter or find out more, visit 


Notes to Editors:

For further press information please contact – Fiona Russell, and Rosie Marsh,, +44 (0) 20 3463 2080

  • The winner of the RIBA International Prize will be chosen from a shortlist of six, in turn selected from the 20 winners of RIBA Awards for International Excellence. These will be given to buildings worldwide that stretch the boundaries of architecture. Irrespective of style, complexity and size of both scheme and budget successful projects should demonstrate visionary or innovative thinking and excellence of execution. Architecture in the UK will be represented by the RIBA Stirling Prize winner.
  • In the inaugural year of the RIBA International Prize, buildings entered for consideration must have been completed within the past 3 years (between 1 January 2013 and 1 February 2016). For each year thereafter, the Prize will be awarded to a building completed within 2 years.
  • The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members.
  • RIBA awards have been running since 1966. RIBA inspires and rewards excellence through across a programme of regional, national and international Awards including the Royal Gold Medal, RIBA Stirling Prize and RIBA House of the Year. The RIBA International Prize is the first global award for buildings open to all architects in the organisation’s history.
  • For more information visit
  • Follow RIBA on Twitter @RIBA
  • Follow RIBA on Facebook at RIBA Architecture
  • Social media hashtag: #RIBAIntPrize

Judges’ Biographies

Richard Rogers
Richard Rogers is the 2007 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, the recipient of the RIBA Gold Medal in 1985 and winner of the 1999 Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Medal. He is also winner of the 2000 Praemium Imperiale Prize for Architecture, the 2006 Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement and the 2007 Tau Sigma Delta Gold Medal. Richard Rogers was awarded the Légion d’Honneur in 1986, knighted in 1991 and made a member of the House of Lords in 1996. Most recently, in 2008 he was made a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour. He is a Partner at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners which has won a number of awards including the Stirling Prize for Terminal 4 at Madrid Barajas Airport, in 2006 and again in 2009 for Maggie’s London. Currently, the practice is working on a number of international projects including an office tower on the World Trade Center site in New York and a new terminal at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

Kunlé Adeyemi
Kunlé Adeyemi is an architect, urbanist and designer. His recent work includes ‘Makoko Floating School’, an innovative, prototype, floating structure located on the lagoon heart of Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos. This acclaimed project is part of an extensive research project – ‘African Water Cities’ – being developed by NLÉ, an architecture, design, and urbanism practice founded by Adeyemi in 2010 with a focus on developing cities and communities. NLÉ is currently developing a number of urban, research and architectural projects in Africa; one of which is Chicoco Radio Media Center; an amphibious building in Delta city of Port Harcourt in Nigeria. Born and raised in Nigeria, Adeyemi studied architecture at the University of Lagos where he began his early practice, before joining Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in 2002. At OMA he led the design, development and execution of several large prestigious projects around the world including the Shenzhen Stock Exchange tower in China, the Qatar National Library in Doha and Prada Transformer in Seoul. Adeyemi was one of 5 members of the International Advisory Council for the World Design Capital 2014, a juror for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, a Fellow of the World Technology Network, an international speaker and lecturer at various institutions. He is currently the Gensler Visiting Critic at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

Philip Gumuchdjian, BA (Econ) MA (RCA) RIBA ARB FRSA
Philip Gumuchdjian founded Gumuchdjian Architects in 1998. He has gained a reputation for designing innovative and contextual buildings in the public and private sectors. The practice has won multiple RIBA Awards, including two Stephen Lawrence prizes, five National Awards and a European Award for his collaboration on the Pompidou Centre in Metz. He now chairs the Awards committee. Philip Gumuchdjian spent 18 years and was Associate Directorship at the Richard Rogers Partnership where he co-wrote Richard Rogers’ ‘Cities for a Small Planet’ in 1995. He was Rapporteur at the UN Habitat II conference and was a member of the German Government’s Urban 21 panel. He has written, lectured and broadcast on the subject of architecture, sustainability and urban development, and his work has been published and exhibited internationally. Philip has been a visiting critic to the Architectural Association, the Royal College of Art, and has taught Urban Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture.


Posted on Wednesday 9th December 2015

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