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Our Senior Architect appointed as RIBA Co-Chair for Somerset

— 13 Dec 2017


Attendees walking around the site.


The group assembled outside the manor house.


Explanation of the extensive works undertaken to the Manor.


A superb selection for RIBA Somerset's Christmas event.


Our senior architect, Mark Raby, has been appointed as chair of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for Somerset in a joint role with Juliet Bidgood.

The role will see Mark, and Juliet oversee and support the running of RIBA activities in the county, as well as supporting the architectural community in its aims and objectives.

Mark said: “It is a real honour to have been appointed as chair and to represent my fellow architects in the South West. My primary goal in stepping up to this role is to carry on the great programme of events the Branch has been engaged in for its members and to grow the numbers of attendees. Time for our members is precious and so we help to provide informative educational building visits for architects and other professionals, whilst allowing them to network and enjoy some great social events with colleagues from other professions. We are also hoping to help members engage better with local councils in a turbulent time for the national planning system.

The RIBA plays a hugely important part in the development and accreditation of architects and I look forward to working with like-minded and forward-thinking colleagues in this role to strive for further advancements in architecture and its parallel professions.”

Mark and Juliet’s first event as co-chairs was held last Wednesday, with an afternoon of conversation at the Grade I listed Whitestaunton Manor.

The event welcomed the Manor’s project architect, archaeologist and conservation officer, and provoked lively debate amongst the thirty-five professionals who attended. Alongside drinks and supper, the architects  - including many from Jonathan Rhind Architects – discussed best practice in the industry, opportunities for collaboration and the built environment in Somerset.

Mark continued: “I was thrilled to see so many people turn out for our first event. There were some really interesting thoughts and ideas brought to the table, which we plan to work on and share with the RIBA network.”

Some feedback from attendees of the event:

“An outstanding, interesting and informative event. It showed what wide-ranging skills we have as architects; it also showed how the clients were in such excellent hands for such a complex and difficult, and at stages unknown brief. Excellently organised, and first rate canapés and pies. You all have set a standard which will be hard to emulate, yet we wait in anticipation! There must also be thanks to the client for their generosity and open-house.”

“Thank you for organising such a wonderful event yesterday. It really was beautifully put together, and very inspiring.”

“Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed yesterday’s event at Whitestaunton. You got the balance between informative and entertaining just right, and all the speakers were excellent.

I don’t often attend RIBA events, but based on this one I’ll try to be a little more proactive in the future.”


To find out more about RIBA, visit the website.

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