Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland

Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland

The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (Irish: "Institiúid Ríoga Ailtirí na hÉireann"), founded in 1839, is the professional body representing architects in the Republic of Ireland.

The objects of the RIAI are: "the advancement of architecture and the associated arts and sciences, the promotion of high standards of professional conduct and practice and the protection of the interests of architectural training and education."

The Institute is governed by a 26-member council.

In addition, the RIAI sends a representative to the RSUA Council.


In addition to providing standard legal services to members, the RIAI operates annual design awards, and is responsible for awarding the Triennial Gold Medal. This prize is awarded every three years to the best building completed in the preceding three years by an RIAI architect.

In addition, the RIAI is involved in architectural education and organises an annual student competition for the RIAI Travelling Scholarship. The competition is open to final-year students at the two schools of architecture in the Republic of Ireland, as well as to students at Queen's University Belfast.


The RIAI operates three levels of membership: Fellowship, Membership and Associateship. Members of the three ranks are entitled to use the suffixes FRIAI, MRIAI and ARIAI respectively.

Fellowship is generally awarded as an honour on an individual who would otherwise be qualified for Membership or Associateship.

Membership is the standard level for qualified architects in the Republic of Ireland. It is open to those who have completed a five-year course in architecture at a recognised school and who have passed the examination in professional practice.

Associateship is open to all graduates of recognised five-year architecture programmes. These are generally the same as those recognised by the RIBA, as well as the Bachelor of Architecture course at the Dublin Institute of Technology.

Until 2007 it was not necessary to be affiliated to the RIAI to practise as an architect in the Republic of Ireland, but many practitioners choose to join. The RIAI has been involved in negotiations with the Irish government to regulate the construction industry in Ireland and the 2007 Building Control Bill was passed by the Dáil introducing statutory protection of the Title 'Architect'. The Bill provides for the protection of the public who previously had no way of determining professionally qualified construction consultants including not only architects but also engineers and building surveyors. The RIAI maintains the register of Architects for Ireland, this is a statutory role and no one may now describe themselves as an architect, architectural designer or similar description without being on the register. Registration is open to all qualified architects including those who are not members of the RIAI.



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