A DIRECTOR of the largest architectural practice in Cornwall has been appointed as the new county chairman of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

The RIBA is a global professional membership body driving excellence in architecture and delivering better buildings and places, stronger communities, and a sustainable environment.

Chris Turner from Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole (PBWC) architectural practice in St Ives was appointed by fellow members of RIBA Cornwall to be the chairman of the Cornish branch. He takes over from outgoing chair Helen Brooks, who will remain an active member of the committee and take on the role of branch secretary.

Chris plans to spend his two years in the post helping young people in the area begin a career in architecture, working towards a low carbon future for the county, and helping local architects overcome the challenges of practicing in Cornwall.  

He enthused: “I look forward to helping the RIBA drive excellence in architecture at a local level for Cornwall. Now is a critical time for the industry as we need to work locally to help solve the global challenges of the rising cost of living, widening social inequality and the climate emergency. We need to be local agents of change if we are to help solve the unique problems associated with Cornwall’s seasonal and rural economy, high levels of deprivation, and the local housing crisis.”

At PBWC, Chris currently leads his team across a number of sectors including schools, urban regeneration, placemaking, later living and care. He added: “I want to work with our members to help position Cornish architects as a truly competent, highly skilled, and valued source of solutions for the design and construction industry.”

Chris is also taking over as the chair of the Cornwall Architectural Trust, a registered charity whose purpose is to encourage design excellence in buildings, their environment, and all aspects of design.

Chris joined PBWC Architects in 2018 after working in London where he was responsible for the delivery of major, mixed-use regeneration schemes in both the UK and abroad with project values of over £120 million.