Robin Webster elected RIAS President

Robin Webster OBE FRIAS

Robin Webster has been elected the next President of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).

Robin will take over from Stewart Henderson at the Incorporation’s AGM on October 11. As approved at the RIAS Council meeting on last month, the newly elected President will serve for 19 months.

After qualifying as an architect in 1967, Robin partnered with Robin Spence to form their own firm. During their partnership from 1972 - 1984, the practice won awards for its design of the Belsize Park Gardens residential project in Camden, and closer to home designed a new block for Ross Hall Hospital in Glasgow. In 1984 Robin’s success was recognised when he was appointed Professor of Architecture at Robert Gordon University’s Scott Sutherland School, in Aberdeen. During his time at Robert Gordon, the practice continued to thrive, winning a number of international competitions.

Robin set up Cameronwebster Architects in 2005 with his daughter Miranda and his son-in-law Stuart Cameron in 2017. He was a commissioner of the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland and sat on the Govan and Craigton Community Planning Board.

He also served as chairman of the North Highlands Renewal Built Environment Advisory Panel, is a trustee of the Glasgow City Heritage Trust, continues as trustee of the Scottish Stained-Glass Symposium, and is a former chairman of the Alexander Greek Thomson Society.

Robin was appointed OBE in 1999.

Robin said: “I am honoured to be elected as next president of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. I want to thank everyone who voted for me, and especially my supporters, who have challenged the status quo and argued for reform within the Incorporation. I expect that from now on we will operate a transparent organisation, fully compliant with the requirements of the byelaws and meet all good governance protocols.

“That said, the problems that face the built environment and the quality of architecture in Scotland will not go away just by reorganising our committees and procedures. It is essential that we address how we enable talent and create opportunity, how our work is valued, and how we work ethically to achieve the best possible results. I believe we have much to learn from other countries and hope to challenge the Scottish Government and local authorities regarding the quality of public architecture and construction.”

RIAS’ current President, Stewart Henderson, said: “I wish to congratulate Robin on his election and look forward to working with him on Council.”

The RIAS has also announced the results of the RIAS Council elections 2018 for Nationally Elected Incorporation Representatives. Those elected will also begin their terms on October 11 at the RIAS’ AGM.

Council members elected using the Single Transferable Vote are: Karen Anderson FRIAS RIBA, Gordon Duffy FRIAS RIBA, Malcolm Fraser FRIAS RIBA, Helen Lucas RIAS RIBA and Ben Scrimgeour RIAS RIBA.

The candidates said: “We are pleased to have been voted on to RIAS Council and, foremost, delighted to be supporting Robin Webster to the Presidency. Having actively campaigned for change to the RIAS, we will work with Robin as he drives improvements forward.

“We have viewed with concern the failings within the organisation and are aware that the Charity Regulator’s inquiry is ‘still ongoing’. We will, therefore, be pushing for the RIAS to be open, in order to demonstrate that we have learned from such mistakes in building a new, relevant, vibrant, approachable and accountable professional body.”

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