Friday 08 April 2022

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the British Council are pleased to launch the Open Door project, celebrating outstanding architecture conservation work in the UK and China.   

Drawing on the substantial heritage sites in both countries, Open Door will highlight the cultural and environmental benefits of heritage conservation, including its contribution to tackling the climate emergency through the effective re-use of existing buildings.    

The project will invite emerging architects, researchers, practitioners, designers and academics in China and the UK to submit case studies of heritage restoration projects. These will join a pool of buildings selected from the RIBA International Awards and RIBA National Awards over the past two decades.  

An Expert Advisory Group, chaired by Ben Derbyshire, Past President of the RIBA and Commissioner for Historic England, and made up of conservation industry leaders in China and the UK, will select a total of 14 winners. These will be exhibited online later this year by the British Council and RIBA, through photographs, drawings and films.  

RIBA Director of International, Azlina Bulmer, said:   

“We are delighted to be collaborating with the British Council on this exciting initiative. Cultural heritage is high on the agenda in China, with the loss of many heritage sites in recent decades, and the UK is renowned for its restoration of historic buildings. Open Door will highlight the importance of preserving our historic buildings, and will foster the vital sharing of information between experts in both countries.”     

Video of Azlina Bulmer

Director of Arts at British Council China, Rehana Mughal, said:  

“The British Council has long been committed to the arts and cultural exchange between the UK and China. The UK is well known for its varied historical and contemporary architecture and its commitment to architecture conservation, I’ve also seen great examples of architecture preserving the past while facing the future here in China too. Through the Open Door project in partnership with RIBA, we want to celebrate and share the inspiring work from both countries, and enable further knowledge exchange between China and the UK.”    

Video of Rehana Mughal

Open Door will open for entries on Thursday 21 April and the online exhibition will take place on Thursday 15 September

Notes to Editor

About The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. 

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education, and the English language. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK governmen

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