Glasgow head John McManus will take up the role on 1 January 2014, the first architect to achieve the post.
He currently leads the Glasgow studio and has led design teams on major commissions within all of BDP’s key sectors both in the UK and internationally.
The role is re-elected by BDP's board of directors every two years and Peter Drummond, who has been in the post since October 2004, made the decision to pass the baton on, and not seek re-election.
Under Drummond’s leadership BDP has gone from being a UK based practice to a major international design organisation with six international studios and current projects in 37 countries. He will become chair of the south region, taking overall responsibility for all operational aspects of the London and Bristol studios.
BDP's landscape practice has a 45-strong team which undertakes all aspects of landscaping, from masterplanning and initial concepts through to detailed design and on-site delivery.
Chairman David Cash said: "As we see the first encouraging signs of returning confidence in the marketplace, these moves are designed to place BDP in a strong position for the future. I wish both John and Peter every success in their new roles."