Our BA (Hons) Architecture course has now been running for ten years. To celebrate we hosted the RIBA Wessex Annual Open on campus with members of the course team, Faculty and industry guests attending.

On Thursday 2nd November we hosted the RIBA Wessex Annual Open Forum 2017, sponsored by Fineline Aluminium, to celebrate ten years of Architecture courses at AUB. Bournemouth had been without an undergraduate/RIBA Part 1 architecture course between 1971 and 2007, but earlier graduates included Professor Sir Peter Cook RA (awarded, with Archigram, the RIBA Gold Medal 1994) and Sir Michael Hopkins RA (RIBA Gold Medal 1994).

The BA (Hons) ARB/RIBA Part 1 course was re-established in 2007 under the course leadership of Principal Lecturer, Simon Beeson, and the M.Arch ARB/RIBA Part 2 was added in 2012, led by Senior Lecturer and Course Leader, Ed Frith.


The evening included a tour by Richard Jobson, Founding Director of Design Engine, of their recent buildings on AUB campus. All three buildings were shortlisted for RIBA Regional Awards; the Design Studios (winner 2017), Student Services Building (winner 2016) and the Photography Building (shortlisted 2016).

Visitors also had the chance to enjoy the Crab Drawing Studio, designed by Sir Peter Cook/CRAB (a 2016 RIBA Regional and National Award winner), followed by a buffet reception, held in the architecture studio.

The architects and students present were welcomed by RIBA Wessex chair, Rebecca Ridge, followed by the guest lecture by Edinburgh based architect, Richard Murphy OBE, winner of the 2016 RIBA/Channel 4 House of the Year. Richard discussed his respect for the works of Carlo Scarpa and the craft of building, and how this has informed his practices’ many award-winning buildings. In the same week, his Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries received Scotland’s highest architectural award, the RIAS Andrew Doolan Prize.

At the end of the evening students added their thanks to the course team for ten years of inspiring teaching, presenting Course Leader, Simon Beeson, with a box of wooden play-blocks, his private obsession.


Speaking about the celebration, Course Leader, Simon Beeson, said:

We’re proud of the course we have established here at AUB, in our unique creative context of collaboration and innovation, and we’re proud of our graduates. After ten years our pioneering students are beginning to join the ARB register as Architects and make an impact on the profession.

Others are following creative careers in solar energy, film, interiors, building conservation and other fields. Whatever their destination, we’re pleased that AUB Architecture has played a valuable part of their journey.”

Last year, Lord Norman Foster, British Architect and founder of Foster + Partners and the Norman Foster Foundation became an Honorary Fellow at AUB, further strengthening the link between the course and industry. Read more about AUB working with the Norman Foster Foundation. 

Photos, left to right: 1) Richard Jobson, Design Engine, presenting the new RIBA award winning buildings and future campus plans for AUB. 2) Guest lecturer Richard Murphy OBE enjoying the pre-lecture buffet, in conversation with AUB architecture alumnus Christina Varvouni-Giatrakou, who is now an architectural designer at Design Engine. 3) Design Engine exhibition of the recent buildings for AUB. 4) Ed Frith, M.Arch Course Leader, with local architect Adam Covell (ECA, Poole). 5) Richard Jobson, Design Engine, meeting other guests.