The President's Medals History

Established in 1836 when the Institute of British Architects awarded the first Silver Medal to George Godwin for his essay on the 'Nature and Properties of Concrete', the President's Medals are the RIBA’s oldest awards and are regarded as the most prestigious prizes in architectural education globally.

The current format of the awards dates to 1986, when at the celebration of their 150th anniversary, the Institute replaced a large number of student awards, scholarships and prizes with the Bronze and Silver Medals to reward outstanding design work at RIBA Part 1 and Part 2. In 2001, a Dissertation Medal was added to reward accomplished written work.

Participation is by direct invitation only to over 500 schools of achitecture located in 100 countries. Schools are invited to nominate up to 2 entries for the Bronze Medal, up to 2 entries for the Silver Medal, and 1 entry for the Dissertation Medal. In 2023, a record 238 entries were received from 103 schools located in 35 countries.

The winners receive their awards from the RIBA President at a ceremony in December of each year. This coincides with the opening of an exhibition of entries that also tours throughout the UK and internationally.

Over the last few years, this showcase of talented student work has been exhibited in countries such as Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, Finland, France, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Kuwait, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

For more information about the RIBA President's Medals, please contact John-Paul Nunes (RIBA Head of Education Projects) at