Promoting design excellence in architecture and the built environment

The Royal Fine Art Commission Trust (registered charity 298201) was set up in 1987 as a complement to the Royal Fine Art Commission, the Government’s independent adviser on matters affecting public amenity and aesthetics in England and Wales. Over the past four decades, the Trust has sought to promote visual awareness and public appreciation of high-quality design, for example through educational initiatives and its Building of the Year Award, which ran until 2005 in association first with The Sunday Times and then with Sky. Today it continues to advance its charitable objectives through commentary on design matters, by undertaking or commissioning relevant research and by partnering projects where its involvement can add value.  Its newest initiative, the Building Beauty Awards sponsored by Ballymore, was launched in 2021: the first awards (2022) were presented by Lord Foster of Thames Bank at Bloomberg European Headquarters in the City of London, with an International Building Beauty Prize awarded at the World Architecture Festival in Lisbon. The 2023 awards were presented by Sir Ben Okri at Sea Containers, London, with the International Prize awarded at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore. See the Building Beauty Awards website for the full list of winning and commended projects. 

Patron His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO

President Lord Foster of Thames Bank OM FRIBA FCSD RDI

Advisory Board  The Duke of Richmond and Gordon / Lord Palumbo of Walbrook / Lord Rees of Ludlow OM FRS HonFREng FMedSci / Lady Nutting OBE / Dr The Hon Tristram Hunt FRHistS / Stephen Barber / Theo Fennell / Trevor Osborne  

Trustees  Professor Stephen Bayley HonFRIBA (Chairman) / Paul Finch OBE HonFRIBA (Deputy Chairman) / Professor Simon May 

Executive Director Robert Bargery 

Our Publications

The Battle for Better Design: the History of the Royal Fine Art Commission, published by Unicorn in 2024, is available on Amazon

How we Celebrate the Coronation: Designs for a New Reign can be viewed by clicking here. Printed copies are available at £5 each inc p&p payable by bank transfer to Royal Fine Art Commission Trust / Sort code 180002 / Account 02022249. Please use your surname as the reference for the bank transfer and once the transfer is made email with your name and address. 

This is Architecture, an anthology of writing on buildings, is now available from Amazon or Unicorn Publishing. 

Design Champion: the Twentieth Century Royal Fine Art Commission 1924-1999 and Decorating Parliament: Prince Albert and the first Royal Fine Art Commission 1841-1863,  can be ordered for £15 each inc p&p, payable by bank transfer (with your surname as reference) to

Royal Fine Art Commission Trust / Sort code 180002 / Account 02022249

accompanied by an email to with the title(s) of the required book(s) in the subject field and, in the email itself, the address for the book(s) to be sent to and the quantity ordered.