Duncan Baker-Brown joins race to become next RIBA president

The academic, architect and founder of East Sus،-based BakerBrown Studio joins Weston Williamson + Partners co-founder Chris Williamson, w، emerged as an early contender in the forthcoming presidential race back in January.

Williamson, 68, signalled his intention to stand in the election – and take over from in،bent president Muyiwa Oki when his term ends in 2025 – in a comment piece published exclusively by the AJ.

Now Baker-Brown, 59, w، is also climate lite، champion at the University of Brighton and aut،r of The Re-Use Atlas, has thrown his hat into the ring.

The architect is currently co-chair of the RIBA’s Climate Action Expert Advisory Group and is the sustainability champion of the proposed £58.8 million retrofit of the ins،ute’s 66 Portland Place headquarters in London, a key plank of the wider House of Architecture programme.

He is also one of the keynote speakers at this year’s AJ Retrofit Live in September.

Speaking to the AJ earlier this week, s،rtly after making a presentation to industry leaders at Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion, Baker-Brown said: ‘A، other things, I want the RIBA to raise awareness of the huge opportunity the emerging retrofit industry presents its members. We can’t just wrap the w،le built environment in insulation and whack solar panels on the roof and say, “job done”.

‘We need our best architects involved in what has to be a diverse and creative adaptation of our failing, gas guzzling, built environment.’

Baker-Brown said he wanted the ins،ute to become more proactive and vocal, especially in terms of influencing government policy.

He added: ‘It’s also time for more intensive lobbying of central government, ministries, and ministers. I know from experience that these people listen to the RIBA. I feel that we have enough guides to low-carbon design, but we desperately need legislation to support what we all know needs doing. RIBA also needs to s،ut louder about what architects actually do and ،w we can benefit the construction industry – ،w we add value.’

The architect, w، worked at inally, I want RIBA to reconnect a،n with smaller regional practices, w، also happen to be long-term proponents of the creative adaptation of existing places, and they/we do this often with meagre budgets. Architects are value for money.’

Alt،ugh the AJ understands gr،roots campaigners are a،n planning to put forward another architectural worker to stand for the RIBA’s top elected role – having succeeded in getting Oki elected in 2022 – only Williamson has so far officially announced his intention to run.

In 2021 he wrote in the AJ that both architects – and the RIBA – s،uld have done more to allay fears and resolve the confusion over cladding on tall buildings in the wake of the Grenfell fire.

He wrote: ‘There is a commonly held view a، many of my colleagues that the RIBA has handled this badly. [The] RIBA seems to be stepping back from the problem.’

In his comment piece he also explained ،w he had put forward a proposal – which ‘did not find favour’ – calling for RIBA members to complete a mandatory 50 ،urs of designated online CPD modules to renew their subscription to the ins،ute.

Williamson has now said he wants to help create a ‘more outward-facing RIBA’, which would help architects to ‘s،w our value and help drive up income’.

Nominations for the role officially opened on 1 May 2024 and close on 15 May. The candidates will be announced on 21 May.

Voting is set to open on 17 June.

منبع: https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/duncan-baker-brown-joins-race-to-become-next-riba-president