Established in 1922, the club’s original purpose was to enlarge the public appreciation of good architecture and the allied arts, and especially the best work of today. The club had a membership limited to a total of 300, of which less than half might have been architects.
In 2000, to celebrate the new millennium and respond to the high demand for membership, the overall membership was increased to 400 practicing and non-practicing architects, and individuals with a passion for architecture, clients, engineers, urbanists, academics, campaigners and champions of good design.
Today its aim is to promote architecture in its broadest sense through events designed to educate and inform.
As a club without premises, The Architecture Club meets four to five times a year in various locations. The programme includes the annual winter party in January, spring supper debate, summer trip, autumn supper debate, Amazons - an event foregrounding women in the built environment - and trips abroad and building tours.
It has also held several exhibitions, including The best architecture in the last twenty years in 1923, followed in 1925 by the second exhibition (held in the RIBA Galleries in Conduit Street, opened by G. K. Chesterton), and more recently 50 years of London Architecture, supported by Christina Smith OBE, which consequently toured successfully in Europe.
Topics of debate over the years have been diverse, ranging from The architecture of 1851 is preferable to that of 1951 to No building should last more than one lifetime and The influence of Le Corbusier was a disaster. In more recent times debated topics have included Architecture in Britain today has lost its social purpose and Globalism and Architecture.
Speakers at dinners have ranged from Mies van der Rohe to the Prince of Wales, Lord Rogers of Riverside to Leon Krier, and Denys Lasdun to Philip Johnson. Architect-led tours have included Turn End (Peter Aldington), The Leadenhall Building (RSH+P), Bloomberg European HQ (Foster + Partners), and Cambridge’s evolving masterplan, with projects such as Accordia, Great Kneighton and the university's Centre for Mathematical Sciences. International study tours have included Moscow, Portugal and Eritrea.
The Architecture Club is passionate about architecture and the allied arts; as a club we are curious about all its forms and believe that good architecture can only enhance our lives. We enjoy the exploration and discovery!
Sir John Tusa, President, 2018