Open House Festival


institution/profession, gallery, library, museum

George Grey Wornum, 1934

66 Portland Place, W1B 1AD

Fine example of Grade II* listed 1930s architecture with many original features and fittings and home to the world-class British Architectural Library collections.

Getting there


Great Portland Street, Oxford Circus, Regent's Park


88, C2, 453

Additional travel info

Nearby tube stations: Oxford Circus Regents Park Great Portland Street



Accessibility notes

Contact for any queries on accessibility of the building.


History of the Building

The present headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects, which was opened on 8 November 1934 by King George V and Queen Mary, was designed by G Grey Wornum CBE, FRIBA (1888-1957), who won the commission in an open architectural competition that attracted 284 entries. The foundation stone was laid by Lord Howard de Walden on 28 June 1933.

In 1970, on the recommendation of the Historic Buildings Council, the RIBA building was listed by the Minister of Housing and Local Government as a Grade II building of architectural and historic importance, one of the very first examples of 'modern architecture' to be so recognised.

The six-storey building is faced in Portland Stone. The sculpted figures on the Portland Place front depict the spirit of man and woman as the creative forces of architecture. Along the Weymouth Street elevation, above the third-storey window line, are five relief figures, depicting a painter, a sculptor, an architect (Sir Christopher Wren), an engineer and a working man. The interior of the building is finely detailed in a variety of materials.

Open House Weekend Programme

In celebration of Open House 2023 join us at the Royal Institute of British Architects headquarters for free guided tours and chance to view a film on the building in-situ.

Online presence


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