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120 years of the RIBAJ: we have our own heritage

One hundred and twenty years is quite a birthday. Celebrating its anniversary this November the RIBA Journal also marked its relaunch with a party in the rough and ready spaces soon to be transformed by AHMM into Derwent’s White Collar Factory.

Photographs: Alison Ellis

At the edge of Silicon Roundabout, or Old Street as you will still find it marked on maps, the party brought together a glittering crowd of leading architects and those who had been involved in the magazine over the years. The six surviving ex-editors, José Manser, Peter Murray, Amanda Baillieu, Richard Wilcock, John Welsh and Jonathan Glancey were gathered for a historic portrait with current RIBA Journal editor, Hugh Pearman.

Propping up the bar were architects with work as diverse as Joe Duggan, Peter Barber, Narinder Sagoo and Alex Haw while others travelled from Bath, Oxford and beyond to join the magazine on its big night. Patrick Theis and Soraya Khan, shortly due to be announced as winners of the RIBA’s competition to refit its own London annexe, joined the party fresh from their interviews. From beyond the profession were characters such as Hanif Kara of AKTII, leading light M&E engineer Adam Ritchie, Jeremy Till of Central St Martins and client Jonathan Falkingham of Urban Splash, as well as the photographers and designers that make the RIBA Journal what it is.

Hugh Pearman’s address kicking off with the RIBA Journal’s genesis in 1893 as a cost cutting exercise amalgamating two publications was welcomed by the appreciative audience. RIBA President Stephen Hodder drew attention to the magazine’s scoop on his private life in earlier years: that he mostly talked about architecture to his wife when in bed. After the reminder of that revelation Gerflor took to the stage to present the raffle prize of an original Stephen Wiltshire panorama of London to winner, architect Phil Coffey.

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