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Architectural Award for Royal Commission

Dr Peter Wakelin, Secretary of the Royal Commission accepting his award at the RSAW ceremony held in Cardiff Bay.

Dr Peter Wakelin, Secretary of the Royal Commission accepting his award at the RSAW ceremony held in Cardiff Bay.


At a ceremony in Cardiff Bay on 20 June the Secretary of the Royal Commission, Peter Wakelin, was made an Honorary Members of the Royal Society of Architects in Wales for services to support the betterment of architecture. The President of RSAW, Andrew Sutton, said ‘He has worked tirelessly to raise the profile, dynamic and accessibility of the Royal Commission and has sought to enhance online service delivery, partnerships and collaborative working’. Peter’s acceptance speech highlighted the importance of recording buildings.

I am really grateful for this honour and delighted to accept it in recognition of the work of the Royal Commission over many years to ensure that the built heritage is recorded, understood, enjoyed and cared for. This is a function that we must be sure we can continue.

I can’t say better than to quote the artist Falcon Hildred – another Honorary Member of RSAW – who has spent a lifetime recording buildings at risk. We have acquired his superb archive of over 600 drawings for the National Monuments Record with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

‘The thing about buildings is that they’re about people. Everything we do in life is either in or around buildings. We celebrate, we teach, we live, we work, we heal, we compete, we store – everything is done in and around buildings, and they therefore embody all our needs, all our hopes, our beliefs, our fears. They are the symbols of all our values, from cottage to cathedral, of what we want and what we believe. So the risk is that when you destroy a building you risk destroying something of ourselves.’

That is why we record and celebrate architecture. Thank you for honouring our work.

The RSAW is the Welsh arm of architecture’s professional body, the Royal Institute of British Architects. At the same event, the Welsh Government Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, Huw Lewis AM, made a keynote speech about the importance of good design and awards were given to recent architectural projects, including Maggie’s cancer care centre in Swansea and the new Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Honorary Membership was also awarded to Anthony Kleinburg and the television producer Gwenda Griffith, who worked with the Royal Commission on the landmark series for S4C, Cartrefi Cefn Gwlad Cymru.


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