The oldest and most influential architectural institution in the world, the
Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) reaches a world-wide audience of
individuals and organisations interested in the development of architecture,
design and the built environment. The RIBA has over 43,000 members
internationally, including 13,000 student members.
The RIBA President’s Medals are widely regarded as the most prestigious
international awards in architectural education. The awards were established in
1836 when the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) awarded the Silver
Medal for the first time for the best architectural essay, making these the
RIBA’s longest-living award (preceding the Royal Gold Medal, formally
established in 1848). In 1855, the Institute changed the awards’ criteria to
award the Silver Medal for the best ‘Measured Drawings’ produced by a talented
The President’s Medals current format was developed in 1984, when the
Institute created a Bronze Medal to reward the design work produced by a
student at Part 1 (normally, the first three of five years of the professional
qualification in architecture) while the Silver Medal was awarded to a Part 2
student (normally, the last two of five years of the architecture
qualification). In 2001, a Dissertation Medal was added to reward written work
produced at either Part 1 or 2.
Each year, students from schools of architecture in the UK and
abroad aspire to be selected by their school to enter for the medals, and for
the opportunity for their work to be recognised and publicly exhibited.
The winners receive their awards in a prestigious ceremony held at the RIBA
in December of each year. Over 400 people attend the awards ceremony.
Previous guest speakers include Richard Rogers, Mark Lawson, Richard MacCormac,
Paul Smith, Lord Norman Foster, Martha Schwartz, and Alex James.
Winning work is featured in a supplement produced by a media partner after
the ceremony takes place and is sent to key stakeholders world-wide. For
details of how to obtain a copy, email Presidents.Medals@riba.org.
If you have any queries about the awards or this website please e-mail Presidents.Medals@riba.org