Architects from Foster + Partners, HOK, Broadway Malyan and Atkins are to attend a simulated terrorist attack to learn how to safeguard their buildings from threats.

Employees of the four practices are to join government architects trialling a variation of “Project Argus”, the simulation used by counter-terrorist services to examine how the public reacts in terrorist situations.

The simulation has been modified by the RIBA and the police to teach architects how correct design specifications can assist recovery from a terrorist attack.

Joni Tyler, RIBA’s head of continuing professional development, said the simulation would allow the architects, who all have experience designing large public buildings, to learn from their public sector counterparts.

Tyler said: “Those involved in regeneration and masterplanning would find it useful, but also anyone who designs nightclubs, urban areas, stadiums – anywhere people gather.”

As well as architects from the four commercial practices, government architects from the Foreign Office and Home Office will attend the first pilot scheme, to be run in London on 29 January.

Another pilot will be run in Liverpool on 15 February, and the RIBA hopes to roll out the scheme across the country over this year.

The scheme follows a Home Office report last November that detailed how architects can help “design out” terrorism.