Royal Society of Ulster Architects

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The Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) is the professional body for registered architects in Northern Ireland.[1] Chartered RIBA members in Northern Ireland are automatically members of the RSUA. RSUA Members use the suffix RSUA and also may use RIBA.


The supreme governing body is the Council, chaired by the president of the RSUA. The Society members are entitled to nominate fellow members to the Council and to vote in elections.


The Society operates a bookshop at 2 Mount Charles, Belfast. This bookshop is the Northern Ireland regional branch of the RIBA bookshop and as such caters mainly to architect members of the RIBA. The Society's premises have recently undergone refurbihment and extension to designs by Hackett and Hall Architects; both principals in the practice are also RSUA Council members.


PLACE Architecture & Built Environment Centre has been a part of the RSUA since 2004, when it was founded by the Society in partnership with Belfast City Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The RSUA, as part of its Development Plan 2010–2012, in agreement with the board of PLACE, has moved that PLACE will become a separate legal entity from the RSUA with charitable status.[2]

Perspective magazine[edit]

The Society issues a journal, Perspective, on a bi-monthly basis. In effect this publication is not so much a journal as it is a magazine; that is, it does not report on the proceedings of the society but rather provides an overview of new architecture in Northern Ireland in the previous months, in addition to brief commentary on other artistic endeavours, primarily visual arts.

Perspective is written and edited by a RSUA committee and is published by the Ulster Tatler group.

RSUA Design Awards[edit]

The RSUA Design Awards are architectural, artistic and cultural awards made annually by the Royal Society of Ulster Architects, celebrating the work of architects in Northern Ireland. The awards mainly focus on architecture, and are separate from the RIBA Awards, although the RSUA is a constituent part of the RIBA. Primary among these awards is the Liam MacCormick Prize, awarded to the building judged to be best overall in the relevant year.

The RSUA awards are adjudicated by a panel of independent judges, including experts from outside Northern Ireland—for example Dublin City Architect Jim Barrett held the chair in 2006. However, members of the RSUA council and the editorial committee of Perspective are frequently favoured with awards, including (in 2006) Hackett + Hall, Alan Jones Architects and Todd Architects.[citation needed]

Role in education[edit]

The Society is heavily involved in architectural education and awards the annual Alan Barnes Travelling Scholarship to a Northern Ireland-born student of architecture. In addition, the Society awards the annual RSUA Silver Medal and RSUA Bronze Medal, analogous to the RIBA President's Medals Students Awards.


External links[edit]