Home » About the RIAI
About the RIAI
The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) is the Regulatory and Support body for Architects in Ireland. Support services are also provided for Architectural Technologists.
The RIAI engages with government, the professions, industry, clients and the public to promote the value of quality and design in architecture: to deliver attractive and sustainable built environments; to enrich our distinctive culture and heritage; to contribute to the competitiveness of our economy; and to improve quality of life for the people of Ireland, today and for generations to come.
The RIAI is designated as the competent authority for architecture in Ireland under EU Directive 2005/36/EC. As official registration body under the Building Control Act 2007, the RIAI is committed to discharge its obligations for administration of the Register of Architects in Ireland. Although the RIAI carries out a statutory function as the Registration Body and Competent Authority for Architects in Ireland this is carried out on an entirely self-funding basis. The RIAI does not receive any Government Funding or State Aid for this Statutory Function.
The RIAI seeks to provide architects with the professional training, education and research support required to consolidate the role of the RIAI - and the architecture profession generally - as champions of exemplary practice in architecture and urbanism; and to provide high quality professional services, public education, outreach programmes, and consumer protection to clients, end-users and the public.
The RIAI is a company limited by guarantee without share capital, registered in Ireland. Company Registration Number: 003498. Company Registered Address: 8 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. Company Charitable Tax Exemption Number CHY 5436. The Directors of the company for 2013 are:
Michelle Fagan, David Power, Grainne Shaffrey, Anne Kiernan, Orla Fitzgerald, Paul Keogh, Fionnuala Rogerson, Toal Ó Muiré, Robin Mandal, Eddie Conroy, Ali Grehan, Clare White, Peter Carroll, Anne Fletcher, Andrew Clancy, Michael Grace, Derek Meenan, Kevin Smyth, Laura Bowen, John Ruane, Darren Bergin, Terence Mccaw, Robert Bourke, Fionan De Barra, Garrett O’Neill.
The RIAI's main roles are
- Promoting architecture
- Supporting architects
- Regulating architects
RIAI activities are co-ordinated by a 24 Member Council, the Institutes governing body, elected by the Membership.
The Director, the RIAI’s chief Executive Officer, has a permanent staff which services the Institute's Council and Committees and also administers the requirement of the sections of the Building Control Act dealing with the registration of architects.
The RIAI promotes the activities and achievements of the Irish architectural profession - both in Ireland and abroad - through a wide variety of initiatives. Communicating to a wider public the value that quality architecture brings to all our lives is a central objective of the RIAI.
The RIAI publishes two magazines: Architecture Ireland and HOUSE architecture design. Architecture Ireland is the RIAI's official journal and the leading architectural magazine for Irish architecture. The magazine is published six times per annum and its objective is to give the widest possible coverage to both Irish architecture and to Irish architects as well as keeping the professional informed with up-to-date information on the activities of the Institute and architecture. In addition to the RIAI membership, the magazine is circulated to Government Ministers, TDs and Senators. Editor is Dr Sandra O'Connell.
HOUSE architecture design was specifically devised by the RIAI to communicate architecture to a wider public audience. The magazine has a strong focus on residential design and will be published twice a year in 2012. Editor is Emma Cullinan.
RIAI Annual Review
The RIAI has published to-date three editions of its new Annual Review, Irish Architecture with the assistance of the Government Policy on Architecture, 2009-2015. The publication marks the far-reaching achievements of Irish architecture, both at home and abroad, over a two-year period in each volume. The current Volume 3 celebrates the achievements in design and conservation by Irish architects, showcasing 20 projects across a variety of strands including culture, public, education, housing, international and the work of emerging practices. These projects are internationally recognised to be of the highest quality; with all of the projects winning national awards and many being recipients of international recognition. All three volumes are available from the RIAI bookshop.
Simon | Open Door
The RIAI & the Simon Communities of Ireland joined forces to create the annual fundraising initiative "Simon Open Door" - whereby participating RIAI Architects around Ireland open their offices on to give members of the public an hour's consultation with an architect in return for a donation to Simon of €50. Over the last 6 years, we have raised nearly €250,000 for Simon and provided over 3000 consultations to the public.Visit the Simon | Open Door website
Architecture Tours Ireland
Available all year, Architecture Tours Ireland takes in a variety of historical and contemporary architecture including such urban highlights as Dublin Docklands, Georgian Dublin, Temple Bar, and a dedicated Children’s Activity Tour. Tours run every week and are led by RIAI-Registered architects. In addition to regular tours, ATI offer special interest tours for pre-booked groups, which will cover a wide range of architecture and urban design topics. A joint initiative between the RIAI and the Irish Architecture Foundation, Architecture Tours Ireland was launched in May 2011 by Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. “Feedback on the tours has been extremely positive – our guides have a passion for architecture and a desire to show off Dublin’s achievements”, says Kathryn Meghen, Assistant Director at the RIAI. www.architecturetours.ie
EFAP and Converging Territories
The RIAI is responsible for the Irish delivery of the EU project EFAP Converging Territories. The project promotes architects’ mobility in Europe with a view to foster cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. In 2011, the Italian architect, urban designer and academic Dr Nicola Russi undertook a research residence at the RIAI. Dr Russi presented his findings ‘West Side Strategy’ in a lecture at the RIAI on 6 December 2011. Russi examined areas in Dublin that were less developed during the so-called Celtic Tiger years of economic boom. He then proposed a series if interventions on the ‘West Side’ of the city based on some of the city’s successful urban design components, such as Dublin’s low-rise character and lush Georgian squares. www.convergingterritories.eu/home.
Architectural Competitions have an important role in advancing quality in architecture. The RIAI provides a full range of services to help clients who wish to commission an architectural competition. Go the competitions area
RIAI Medals - Promoting Excellence in Architecture
The RIAI promotes excellence in architecture and awards medals for outstanding achievement. The RIAI Gold Medal is considered the premier award for architecture in Ireland. It is awarded for a building completed within a defined three year period, some years after completion so that the building can be evaluated in a mature state. The best buildings built during a given three year period since 1932 can be viewed on the Irish Architecture Awards website. In addition to the Gold Medal, the RIAI also awards a Silver Medal for Housing and a Conservation and Restoration Medal. The inaugural Gandon Medal for lifetime achievement in Irish architecture was presented to Dr Ronald Tallon, a founding director of Scott Tallon Walker Architects in December 2010.
Irish Architecture Awards
The RIAI organises and presents a range of Architectural Awards to acknowledge and promote the best work being carried out by Irish Architects in particular categories at a particular time. The Irish Architecture Awards web site contains all of the previous award winners and gives an unrivalled picture of the development of Irish Architecture.
RIAI and RIAI Regional Groups run a wide range of events including lectures aimed at promoting architecture. Go to the current events listing
RIAI represents the views of architects and architectural technicians on architectural and built environment issues to the media, through liaison with Government, Government Departments, Local Authorities, State Agencies and other architectural/urban bodies, and EU and International organisations.
RIAI is represented on a wide range of industry bodies including:
- Liaison Committee of the Building Industry
- Local Government Management Services Board
- Irish Agrément Board
- Construction Industry Council
- Construction Industry Standards Committee
- Joint DEHLG Sustainable Communities Committee
- Construction Safety Partnership
- Construction Safety Advisory Committee
- National Construction and Demolition Waste Council
- City and County Architects
Architects Council of Europe
- ACE Urban Issues
- ACE SHW
- ACE Professional Profile
- ACE Qualifications Directive
- ENACA – European Network of Architects’ Competent Authorities
UIA International Union of Architects
- UIA – Access Work Group
- UIA – Children and Architecture
- Architecture Sans Frontiers
Architectural and Urban Organisations
Standards for Architects
RIAI Education Policy is informed by EU and International Standards , the RIAI Matrix of Knowledge, Skills and Competences, and the standards prescribed by the Building Control Act 2007, to ensure that the built environment is designed and directed by properly trained architects
Standards for Architectural Technicians
Architectural Technicians play an important role in supporting the complementing the work of architects and architecture practices. RIAI Standards of Knowledge, Skills and Competences for Architecture Technicians (TBA) are used to ensure appropriate standards.
Consumer Protection and Services
The RIAI through a range of services and the provisions in the Building Control Act 2007 works to ensure consumer protection.
In order to fulfil this objective the RIAI:
- Acts as the Registration Body for Architects in Ireland
- Uses RIAI education policy and the RIAI Matrix of Knowledge, Skills and Competence when accrediting schools of architecture, for prescription by the Minister for the Environment.
Uses RIAI education policy and the Professional Practice Matrix of Knowledge, Skills and Competence in Professional Practice Examination to ensure candidates:
- Fully understand the nature of Professional Architecture Practice
- Have sufficient knowledge of Irish Law and Contract Procedures, and
- Have enough practical experience of all the stages of a building project
- Have experience and knowledge of the procedures and judgement required to run an architectural practice and provide a full range of architectural services.
- Provides an independent Statutory CONSUMER/REGISTRATION Complaints Procedure with a majority of non-architects on the Professional Conduct Committee
- Requires a stated level of Continuing Professional Development
- Provides detailed information on the design and construction process for small and large scale projects.
- Publishes a range of standard documentation providing a framework for construction.
- Publishes a range of standard agreements for use between the Client and the Architect.
- Provides advice and information on RIAI Standard Client/Architect Agreements
- Publishes consumer guides including “Working With Your Architect”
- Provides a nomination service to assist in the selection of REGISTERED architects and to help clients select architects in practices appropriate for their projects
- Provides information on registered architects and practices accredited in conservation work
- Provides information on architects accredited as Project Supervisors for the Design Process