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Manchester Architect Becomes President Of RIBA

Stephen Hodder becomes national boss of architectural body in 'strange' circumstances

Published on May 16th 2012.

Manchester Architect Becomes President Of RIBA

STEPHEN HODDER of Manchester-based Hodder+Partners will become the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) president elect in September this year and stand as president for two years starting in 2013.  

I don’t want to seem immodest, but people know me for my work and people know the contribution I’ve made to the RIBA.

This is an honour but comes in curious circumstances. He may be succeeding Angela Brady but no other candidate decided to stand against him.

As the Architects’ Journal reports (click here):

‘The surprising lack of competitors follows a low 18 per cent turnout when institute members elected its current president two years ago (when) Angela Brady defeated Roger Shrimplin and  Richard Parnaby, receiving 49 per cent of votes.

‘Hodder’s one-horse-race to the job has immediately raised questions over the presidential election process which requires potential candidates to harness the support of at least 60 RIBA chartered members. Only RIBA chartered members and honorary fellows may stand for the presidency.

‘RIBA Council student representative Alex Scott-Whitby said: ‘The biggest problem is that only chartered members can vote for president and this is something we should change.’

Speaking to the Architects’ Journal Hodder said: “I was expecting an election process but for whatever reason it hasn’t happened. My own perception of [the lack of competition for the role], and I don’t want to seem immodest, but people know me for my work and people know the contribution I’ve made to the RIBA. I appeal to a broad church and I would like to think that is because people recognise that I do a good job.”

Hodder won the inaugural Stirling Prize in 1996 for the Centenary Building, University of Salford, and will be familiar to millions in Manchester for the lovely and exciting footbridge over Corporation Street linking Manchester Arndale with M&S/Selfridges. He’s in good company too. Manchester Town Hall designer Alfred Waterhouse was the President of the RIBA from 1888-91.  

Confidential will be interviewing Stephen Hodder in his Castlefield office in the next week over his new role. 

FootbridgeFootbridge over Corporation Street

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