Royal Society of Ulster Architects

Royal Society of Ulster Architects

The Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) is the professional body for registered architects in Northern Ireland. Chartered RIBA members in Northern Ireland are automatically members of the RSUA. RSUA Members use the suffix RIBA; there is no separate title for members of the RSUA.


The supreme governing body is the Council. The Society members are entitled to nominate fellow members to the Council and to vote in elections. In practice, however, the make-up of the Council tends to reflect a Belfast-centred, academically-biased organisation, rather than reflecting the heterogeneous mix of Northern Ireland architectural practice.

The current membership of the council (prior to May 26, 2006) is:

*Rachel Bevan, Sustainability Convenor
*Mervyn Black, President 2004-06
*John Cole, Constitution Convenor; Past President 1996-98
*Paul Crowe, Awards Convenor
*John FitzGerald, Exhibitions Convenor
*Stephen Foster, Project Management Convenor
*Mark Hackett, Lectures Convenor
*Alastair Hall, Publications Convenor
*Yvonne Huey, Honorary Secretary
*Norman Hutchinson, Head of Professional Services Division
*Natalie Irvine, Yearbook Convenor
*Alan Jones, Head of Foundation Division
*Sarah Lappin, Education Convenor
*Trevor Leaker, Perspective Convenor
*Ciaran Mackel, Competitions Convenor, Past President 2002-04
*Clyde Markwell, Practice Affairs Convenor; Past President 1998-2000
*Robin McKelvey, Council Member
*Paul Mongan, Honorary Treasurer
*Martina Murphy, Representative to the RIAI
*Peter Niblock, Head of Enterprises Division
*Marcus Patton, Conservation Convenor
*Colin Shaw, CPD Convenor
*John Tate, CIG Representative
*Barrie Todd, PLACE Convenor; Past President 2000-02

Together with co-opted members Dr Chris Tweed, representing Queen's University, and Prof Ruth Morrow, representing the University of Ulster.


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.


The Society is actively involved with PLACE, an architecture and urban design exhibition centre on Fountain Street, Belfast. The centre has no permanent collection, but rather mounts temporary, and sometimes rather ephemeral, exhibitions on local and national architecture.

= "Perspective" =

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

The Society hosts an annual awards ceremony, celebrating the work of architects in Northern Ireland. Primary among these awards is the Liam MacCormick Prize, awarded to the building judged to be best overall in the relevant year.

The jury for these awards is composed of experts from outside Northern Ireland, for example Dublin City Architect Jim Barrett held the chair in 2006. However, it is notable that members of the RSUA council are frequently favoured with awards, including (in 2006) Hackett+Hall, Alan Jones Architects and Todd Architects.

Role in education

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.

External links

* [ RSUA]
* [ PLACE]

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