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AIA UK Co-Sponsors Large Firm Roundtable

Fiona Mckay

In association with chapter sponsor, Beale & Company, a meeting of representatives from a number of large firms took place on Friday, the 2nd of November.   Beale hosted the event at their offices in the City.  The purpose of the Roundtable was to facilitate discussion on subjects of common interest to large firms practicing in the UK.  The attendance was very good with 26 people participating.  Among the firms represented were; AHMM, Rafael Vinoly, Zaha Hadid, Calison RTKL, Jestico & Whiles, and Gensler.  The AIA UK was represented by President Fatos Peja, Deborah Bartlett, and Michael Lischer.  James Hutchinson from Beale chaired the discussion and kept the pace lively.

The agenda items included;  getting paid, the trend for contracts to put more liability on the architect, professional indemnity issues post Grenfell Tower, succession planning, and Brexit.   These topics generated some very interesting discussion and was an opportunity for participants to share their experiences in an open and congenial setting.  After the formal roundtable, most participants reconvened at a nearby pub where Beale provided drinks and nibbles.

The Roundtable was very productive and the feedback from the participants has all been very positive.  One attendee stated, "it's nice to know we are not alone"!  Thanks to Beale & Co. for their hospitality and organization of the event! 

Written by: Michael Lischer, FAIA





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AIA UK 2018 Board - Call for Nominations!

Fiona Mckay

If you are interested in getting involved with the AIA UK Chapter, please consider nominating yourself for a position on the 2018 board of directors.

You are welcome to make nominations for the board of directors and the four officer positions. The officer positions, are ideally held by a US licensed architects, but we will accept foreign licensed architects for nominations as well.

The only requirement for a board of directors positions is enthusiasm and a willingness to help with events and other chapter activities throughout the year.

If you would like to find out more about the positions, please contact Michael Lischer, FAIA at by Friday 01 December, 5pm.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Eat Chelsea: Tasty Proposals at the AIA UK Student Charrette 2017

Fiona Mckay

Students from the University of Portsmouth and University of Westminster working on a biblical collage for their proposal ‘Infinity Bread.’

Students from the University of Portsmouth and University of Westminster working on a biblical collage for their proposal ‘Infinity Bread.’

On October 21st, 48 students descended upon Chelsea to participate in the annual AIA UK Student Charrette at the Roca London Gallery.  The students represented universities from across the UK: teams were assembled from University of Kent, University for the Creative Arts (UCA), Ravensbourne, University of Portsmouth, University of Westminster, Oxford Brookes University, and Robert Gordon University.  Student teams were paired with AIA members who mentored them during the day-long event.

The second University of Kent team, presenting their cronut proposal with delicious imagery.

The second University of Kent team, presenting their cronut proposal with delicious imagery.

This year’s brief drew inspiration from the history of the region and its home to the Chelsea bun. Teams were asked to consider a food or beverage and the architectural and urban implications of producing, consuming and disposing of their product.  Responses were diverse – and some quite extreme – from urban farms that produced edible vegetables, and edible insects, to an ‘infinity bread’ that granted 100 years of sleep to the rich while using the proceeds of production to throw a feast for the poor.  

The furthest travelled team, Robert Gordon University from Aberdeen, presenting their proposal for an urban farm that grows produce and insects as the future of food.

The furthest travelled team, Robert Gordon University from Aberdeen, presenting their proposal for an urban farm that grows produce and insects as the future of food.

Following presentations to the jury, comprised of Stephan Reinke, FAIA, David Bromell, and Amrita Raja, the students and mentors enjoyed a relaxed drinks reception before the winner was announced.  The jury commended the Oxford Brookes / Robert Gordon team, mentored by Kevin Flanagan, for their project ‘Moo-vement,’ a ramped grazing plane for the local production of ingredients for the Chelsea bun, and awarded the grand prize to the University of Kent team, mentored by Bea Sennewald, who proposed a bread factory that worked with the local tide and created a 7-hour cycle of production, consumption and distribution.  Members of the winning team took home a lovely gift pack from our sponsors, which included the recent publication, MAD Works MAD Architects.

The winning team, University of Kent, their mentor, Bea Sennewald, and the jury, Stephan Reinke, FAIA, David Bromell, and Amrita Raja.

The winning team, University of Kent, their mentor, Bea Sennewald, and the jury, Stephan Reinke, FAIA, David Bromell, and Amrita Raja.

Many thanks to our sponsors, Roca and Laufen for their hospitality and support.  As always, the Roca Gallery was an inspiring place for the students to work, and this year’s Roca team did a spectacular job from assisting students with printing, to jumping in as an impromptu jury member!  Thanks also to our jury and mentors: Bea Sennewald, Alex Miller, Alex McMillan, Elizabeth Daily, Francis Hur, Lutz Barndt, Kevin Flanagan and Stephen Lawler. The students truly appreciated your insight and guidance.  And to the students who came from near and far – we hope you had a fun time, and look forward to seeing your classmates next year!


Written by: Amrita Raja, AIA

Image Credits to Barima Owusu Nyantekyi (


Please click here to see more photos of the event.


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Fiona Mckay

The AIA UK board of directors is delighted to announce Bauder as a new chapter sponsor! 

For over 150 years Bauder has been developing, manufacturing and supplying premier flat roof waterproofing systems. As Europe’s largest privately owned manufacturer of waterproofing membranes and insulation products, Bauder supplies all key system components and guarantees availability of supply over the lifetime of the roof.

Bauder provides a free of charge technical service offer from initial condition surveys, specifications, detail design and all relevant calculations - i.e. wind uplift, thermal etc. through to pre-start meetings, regular monitoring of the installation on site and sign off for guarantee. This service offer is provided by a nationwide team of 40 Technical Managers and 14 Site Technicians and supported by a large Technical Department based at its Ipswich headquarters.

Bauder’s range of flat roof waterproofing and insulation solutions ensures that they can provide the right system for your individual project:

  • SBS Elastomeric Bituminous Membranes with a range of systems and installation methods
  • Single Ply Membranes - Thermofol (PVC) and Thermoplan (FPO)
  • Cold Liquid Applied Systems – for roofing, balconies, terraces and walkways
  • Hot Melt Monolithic Membrane – Bakor 790-11 EV
  • Green Roof Systems – a wide range of sustainable solutions for extensive, biodiverse and intensive green roof projects
  • Insulation, Rooflights, Outlets and Accessories
  • Photovoltaic Systems – lightweight, zero penetration, fast installation systems suitable for both new build and refurbishment projects

Installation is provided by a nationwide network of approved roofing companies who are fully conversant with Bauder’s roofing system requirements. All operatives undertake individual system training by Bauder and are issued an approved operative badge listing the systems they are trained to install. The company works closely with its approved contractors to provide comprehensive system guarantees.

For more information, simply call +44(0) 14 7325 7671 or email

Please join us in welcoming Bauder to the AIA UK!

Written by: Yevgeniy Beylkin, Int. Assoc. AIA ARB RIBA (with support from Bauder)

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Building Tours 2017

Fiona Mckay


Building Tours have been a popular part of the UK Chapter’s Event Calendar since the earliest days – long before the quest for CES credits made a necessity out of what had been just pleasurable experiences.  

But, from the start, planning tours has always be a bit haphazard.  Somebody would have a suggestion; somebody knew the designers of this or that; somebody else managed to make serious connections and – bingo! – a tour was born.

Then, back in 2010, Wade Scaramucci, AIA RIBA, started adding an element of discipline to the planning process and the “Building Tour Coordinator” role took on more formal importance. Wade was followed in due course by Fatos Peja, Intl Assoc AIA RIBA, Chris Kimball, AIA, and – currently – Lutz Barndt, AIA.   Whilst adding their own touch to the process, all the coordinators have aimed at offering as wide a selection of building types as possible.  

Although there is room for the historical, the prime focus has been on the new and topical, with award winners – particularly AIA Design Award winners - frequently approached.  Whatever the building type, the key ingredient of a successful tour is a first-hand account of how the project progressed from a project designer, manager or contractor.  

Building Tours are usually held in warm weather at an ideal rate of one a month. This year saw a slowish start, but then a rapid succession of first class buildings.  


25 April, 2017

Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital

By Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

The tour was presented by Taylor Huggins, Senior Architect at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Post-Tour Discussion Drinks were sponsored by Armstrong Ceiling Solutions

The Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital was won in competition in 2010 by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and was designed to transform the experience of cancer patients. The Centre consolidates all cancer treatment, as well as clinical research from across Guy’s and St Thomas Hospitals, into one building.

The building’s 14 storeys are arranged into three stacked ‘villages’, each of two or three storeys and each relating to a particular need. The three patient areas – a radiotherapy village, a chemotherapy village and a one-stop clinic village (that brings diagnostic and outpatients facilities together) – are designed on a human scale and are each split into a social and a clinical zone.


11 May, 2017

Walmer Yard

By Peter Salter

The tour was presented by Fenella Collingridge.

Walmer Yard is the first residential scheme in Britain by Peter Salter, the internationally acclaimed teacher and architectural designer. Seven years in the making, Walmer Yard is a development of four finely crafted houses built around a shared courtyard in Notting Hill.

Walmer Yard was recently awarded the AIA UK Chapter Excellence in Design.

Fenella Collingridge, who graduated with Honours at the Architectural Association, has collaborated with Peter Salter for the past nine years to develop design and construction of the houses at Walmer Yard.

May 18, 2017

Newport Street Gallery

By Caruso St John

The tour was presented by Luke Winterton (project engineer of Max Fordham) and Tim Collett (project architect formerly of Caruso St John Architects)

Newport Street Gallery is the realisation of Damien Hirst’s long-term ambition to share his art collection with the public. Caruso St John Architects and Max Fordham LLP worked with Hirst to deliver his flagship gallery in Vauxhall, London. It was the winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize 2016.

The building includes contemporary art galleries, a viewing room, offices, workshops, a restaurant and ancillary technical areas. With sculptures as heavy as 40 tonnes expected, scale was a vital consideration in the brief. The result is a gallery that is subtle, innovative, and harmonious.


June 29, 2017

Bartlett School of Architecture - 22 Gordon Street

By Hawkins\Brown

The tour was presented by Euan Macdonald and Tom Noonan of Hawkins\Brown and Kevin Jones of UCL Barlett Faculty, with the Bartlett School of Architecture Summer Show on display.

Post-Tour Discussion Drinks were sponsored by Armstrong Ceiling Solutions

Hawkins\Brown completely overhauled the school's former facility, Wates House, to create a new 8,500-square-metre building, accommodating 1,000 staff and students or more than double the school’s original capacity.  Hawkins\Brown carried out a "deep retrofit" of the original building, using the original concrete framework but completely reconfiguring the interior and adding two extra levels to take the height to six storeys. The practice also added a full-height extension to the south of the existing building and faced the whole structure in grey brick.


July 25, 2017

Argent King’s Cross -- Tapestry Building

By Niall McLaughlin Architects

The tour was presented by Tilo Guenther, Associate at Niall McLaughlin Architects.

The developer Argent commissioned Niall McLaughlin Architects to design the first element in their large-scale redevelopment and regeneration of the King’s Cross area at King’s Cross Central. The building’s program was multi-use, incorporating an energy centre, a retail/café/restaurant unit, a centralised car park, a multi-use games area and open market and affordable apartments. The site sits immediately to the north of St. Pancras International, with its northern boundary running parallel to the new Channel Tunnel Rail Link as it approaches the station.  The building’s design is a product of its orientation and surrounding context.

A good building tour can earn the participants up to 1.5 CES credits, often with precious HSW classifications.  So far in 2017, 6.5 CES credits have been presented.

But despite the planner’s best intentions, there remains an element of chance to the whole Building Tour process and it is sometimes more difficult than one can imagine to make it all happen.  There is still a strong dependence on the "somebodies who know somebody” let alone the generosity of the tour leaders to give of their time.  If you have any suggestions – particularly with an AIA connection – please bring it to our attention.

Written by: Lorraine King, AIA and Lutz Barndt, AIA

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What are the licensure requirements in the UK for US architects?

Fiona Mckay

Licensure in the UK is administered by the Architects Registration Board (ARB). This is equivalent to the individual state licensing boards in the US. The RIBA, like the AIA, is not a legal entity that regulates either the practice or title of architecture. It is worth noting that the practice of architecture is not regulated in the UK, rather the title ‘Architect’ is regulated. Therefore, a US registered architect (or anyone else) can practice architecture in the UK so long as they don’t call themselves an architect. This affects the use of initials such as AIA within the UK, and this topic is discussed elsewhere.

The overall requirements for licensure in the UK and the US is similar, with the main difference being that the US license requires a minimum of 3 years’ work experience, whereas the UK license only requires 2 years. The UK license is divided into 3 parts, Parts I, II, and III. The first two parts relate to university education, with Part I being 3 years of education and Part II being two years of education. This is like the US 5-year B Arch degree. The US range of options of undergraduate/graduate study does not exist in the UK. In the UK, by completing a UK architectural degree you have completed Parts I and II. The Part III is a professional practice examination that covers things such as contracts, project administration, and UK specific items such as planning (zoning) permissions and rights of light.

There is no reciprocity between the US and the UK for architectural licensure, although this did exist briefly a number of years ago. In a typical scenario, for a US architect to obtain UK registration they must demonstrate that they have an architectural education equivalent to the UK Parts I and II. They must then pass the Part III examination. In theory, the above sounds straight forward, but the practical reality is considerably different. The easy bit in the process is the Part III examination. This is offered by most architectural schools, and they typically have programmes with evening lecture series, geared towards young architects who are
working duering the day, and are working towards their licensure. It is a simple matter to enrol and participate and/or take the examinations.

The key issue is educational reciprocity, which does not exist. An accredited US architectural degree does not qualify as a UK accredited degree. It should be noted that it is the ARB who is responsible for determining whether a degree qualifies for Part I or Part II exemption. Somewhat confusingly, the RIBA also does this, but this has no legal bearing, and there have been some unfortunate incidents
involving UK Commonwealth countries that have RIBA accredited architectural programmes whose graduates don’t qualify for the UK ARB Parts I and II.

For someone with a US accredited architectural degree to get equivalency by ARB, the candidate must submit a portfolio, considerable documentation, and attend an interview for each of the two parts. The current cost for each part is approximately £2000. If the applicant fails the process, then a new fee must be paid. The failure rate in recent years has been surprisingly high, and in this writer’s opinion there is something drastically wrong with this system given the similarities of US and UK
architectural education.

The AIA UK is working to assist in developing a method of education reciprocity between the US and the UK, although until the UK leaves the European union, this won’t be possible. Also, this issue is not high on the agenda for the organizations involved (on both sides of the Atlantic), and this factors into timescales.

If you have further questions, please contact the AIA in the United Kingdom and they canput you in touch with one our members living here who can address your questions in greater detail.

Written by: Lester Korzilius; FAIA, NCARB, RIBA, ARB

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