Nigel Coates leaves his position at the London college after 16 years to concentrate on his design practice

Professor Nigel Coates has stood down as Head of Architecture at the Royal College of Art, a position he has held since 1995.

RCA Rector Dr Paul Thompson said: “Nigel has done a fantastic job of taking the architecture department to new heights during his tenure and has defined the vision for an expanded new school, offering the new M.Arch and interiors courses in 2012.”

Coats leaves at the end of the academic year to concentrate on his design practice.

The RCA has advertised the position of Dean of Architecture and an acting head of programme will be announced shortly.

Thompson thanked Coats for “his enormous contribution to the RCA, and for his visionary leadership of the architecture programme over the past 16 years.”

He said: “He has transformed the department and is leaving us with a truly exciting strategy for future growth which it will now be our task to implement.”