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RIBA launches architecture prize to find the best building in the world

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has launched a new award for the best building in the world.

The RIBA International Prize will be open to any building in any country, irrespective of its function or budget.

RIBA President Jane Duncan said: “The winning building will demonstrate visionary, innovative thinking and excellence of execution, while making a distinct contribution to its users and to its physical context.”

The new award replaces RIBA’s annual Lubetkin Prize, which it cancelled in 2013, saying it was too narrow in its remit.

The RIBA International Prize has a wider reach: it's open to any qualified architect in the world, rather than being exclusive to RIBA members and fellows as the Lubetkin Prize was.

But in the week that young collective Assemble won the prestigious Turner art prize for their architectural work – despite no member having a professional architecture qualification – some industry insiders have questioned why an architectural qualification remains a requirement.

The inaugural 2016 competition is now open for submissions. Buildings entered need to have been completed between 1 January 2013 and 1 February 2016.

“We look forward to establishing the RIBA International Prize as a new standard by which to assess and promote design excellence on a global scale,” said architect Richard Rogers, who's leading the grand jury who will decide the winner.

Other judges include Kunle Adeyenmi, principal of NLÉ, and Philip Gumuchdjian, founder of Gumuchdjian Architects.

“It's our intention to uncover the world’s most innovative and visionary architecture and spark local and global debates about the positive impact that well designed buildings and places can have on their communities and environment,” concluded Duncan.

The winner of the first RIBA International Prize will be announced at a ceremony in London in December 2016.

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The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has launched a new award for the best building in the world. The RIBA International Prize will be open to any building in any country, irrespective of its function or budget. RIBA President Jane Duncan said: “The winning building will demonstrate visionary, innovative thinking and excellence of execution, while making a distinct contribution to its users and to its physical context.” The new
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Richard Rogers will lead the prize's grand jury / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
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