The Royal Society of Ulster Architects was established in 1901 and it is the professional body for architects in Northern Ireland, with around 900 members.
On Monday I attended the agm of the RSUA at which they were launching the RSUA Development Plan 2010-2012. The launch took place in the Meter House at the Gasworks. This beautiful old building was restored by Doug Elliott and is an excellent example of restoration and regeneration.
Dawson Stelfox, the president of the RSUA, gave a presentation on the development plan and then I made a short speech and took some questions.
I thanked the RSUA for supporting the development of DCAL's architecture and built environment policy and commented on the value of good design, the importance of built heritage as part of our cultural wealth and the need for sustainable development.
In conclusion I encouraged the RSUA to raise expectations - to challenge construction clients, both public and private, to strive for design excellence and to challenge policies which are a barrier to good design. Good buildings, in which we can live, work and socialise, enhance the quality of our lives and I am grateful to the RSUA and the Ministerial Advisory Group for all their efforts.