Royal Academy of Arts celebrates 250th anniversary with opening of Chipperfield-designed extension

In developing a masterplan for the RA, we proposed a series of small architectural interventions that have a large impact on the provision of facilities and programmatic ambitions
– Sir David Chipperfield

The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) will open its new campus, designed by David Chipperfield, to the public on Saturday (19 May).

To celebrate its 250th anniversary year, the RA – one of the world’s oldest and foremost artist and architect-led institutions – commissioned the renovation of its historic central London home, adding 70 per cent more public space and revealing many of its hidden secrets for the first time.

One of the key features of the redevelopment is a new bridge between two previously separated RA buildings, Burlington House and Burlington Gardens, uniting the two-acre campus. Visitors pass through the vaults of each building, before climbing up a flight of steps to access the crossing. Throughout this new public link, glimpses are offered behind-the-scenes of the RA’s private functions, such as the Schools’ Corridor for students.

The Grade II* Burlington Gardens building was designed by the Victorian architect Sir James Pennethorne as the headquarters for the University of London and acquired by the academy in 2001. Chipperfield has restored many of its original design features, while carefully inserting a 250-seat lecture theatre. A bar has also been added, and the RA’s Dorfman Senate Rooms renovated by Julian Harrap Architects, with the addition of an all-day restaurant.

Sir David Chipperfield said: “In developing a masterplan for the RA, we proposed a series of small architectural interventions that have a large impact on the provision of facilities and programmatic ambitions. By revealing more fully all that the RA encompasses – in particular the schools, the collection and the work of academicians across all disciplines – we hope that further visitors, voices and ideas will be drawn to this living institution.

“On an urban level too, the creation of a new entrance and connection between Burlington Gardens and Burlington House unlocks a part of the city and integrates the RA with the culture of daily life.”

The unification of the campus will allow the academy to expand its exhibition and events programme, and to create new and free displays of art and architecture. The new-look Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries will host temporary exhibitions, beginning with Tacita Dean’s exhibition Landscape, running until 12 August. Festivals, talks, architecture awards and hands-on creative educational activities for families, schools and community groups will also be scheduled.

The academy was founded by King George III in 1768. It is independent, privately funded and led by eminent artists and architects. The redevelopment has been supported by a £12.7m (US$17m, €14.5m) grant from the National Lottery, along with donations from trusts, foundations and individuals.

Commenting on the project, Charles Saumarez Smith, secretary and chief executive of the Royal Academy of Arts, said: “The physical transformation of the site will fundamentally change our almost 250-year old institution. We are, first and foremost, artist and architect-led, home to a community of the world’s greatest artists and architects, and a centre for training artists, with practitioners and an art school at our heart.

“This is not just a major building development; it is an undertaking which will transform the psychological, as well as the physical, nature of the Academy. At long last, we will be able to open up the RA and share with the public more of our mission to promote the understanding, appreciation and practice of art and architecture.”

Royal Academy of Arts  David Chipperfield  Burlington House  Burlington Gardens  Charles Saumarez Smith 
Related stories

Signature buildings taking precedence over city development, says David Chipperfield

Annual architecture shows to be held at London's Royal Academy after multi-million pound redevelopment by David Chipperfield

Royal Academy of Arts receives £12.7m Heritage Lottery funding towards Burlington Gardens project

The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) will open its new campus, designed by David Chipperfield, to the public on Saturday (19 May). To celebrate its 250th anniversary year, the RA – one of the world’s oldest and foremost artist and architect-led institutions – commissioned the renovation of its historic central London home, adding 70 per cent more public space and revealing many of its hidden secrets for the first time.
CLD,VAT,HAM,AAC,ARC,DES
One of the key features of the redevelopment is a new bridge between two previously separated RA buildings, Burlington House and Burlington Gardens / Simon Menges
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6518     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6518     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Blu Spas, Inc.
Blu is a full-service firm offering consulting, advisory and operating solutions.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
The Guardian Art Center opened in early 2018
According to Ole Scheeren, the best buildings are the ones that tell us stories
"Economic value can be achieved by a sense of generosity towards the public domain"

The architect behind Beijing’s CCTV Headquarters and the Taipei Performing Arts Center talks form, fiction and fantasy with Kim Megson

Vincent Parreira, AAVP Architecture
"A unique leisure destination in the Greater Paris of tomorrow"

The key cultural buildings for Paris’s controversial new leisure destination

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
UNSense aims to integrate technologies into the built environment
Ben van Berkel believes practices will all become ‘arch tech’ firms
"We’re living in the age of the iPhone, yet the architecture and construction industries are still in the Walkman phase"

On the launch of his tech startup

Thun uses prefabricated wooden elements in his projects to increase sustainability and save time
Matteo Thun leads a design studio of over 70 people, with offices in Milan and Shanghai
"We want a longer life cycle for every product, even if it means business is slower"

Simplicity and sustainability should be at the heart of all design argues the Italian architect

The partners, left to right: Dr Markus Jatsch, Martha Schwartz, Charlotte Wilberforce, Elke Selby
Martha Schwartz
"No one is taking the issue of climate change seriously. Some bad things will have to happen before there is a change"

The outspoken landscape architect on climate change, bagels and being controversial

features
Meis has helped design some of the world’s most successful stadiums
"It’s one of the tragedies of the US that so many of our stadiums get replaced after 20 years"

The Everton and AS Roma stadium architect talks through the challenges and rewards of sports facility design

(From left to right) Alex Mustonen, Daniel Arsham and Ben Porto make up the New York design studio Snarkitecture
"Part museum exhibition and part immersive environment, the project invites visitors to explore Snarkitecture’s work"

Reimagining the traditional home

cladkit product news
Parkside opens flagship Chelsea showroom
The showroom is designed to inspire its clients
Lauren Heath-Jones
Parkside, a designer of contemporary porcelain and ceramic tiles, has opened its first showroom in the UK. Located in Chelsea ...
Bright Buildings to create UK's first 'open sky' swimming pool
Bright Buildings will create the retractable roof for the Open Sky pool at Ivybridge Leisure Centre
Lauren Heath-Jones
Leisure operator Fusion Lifestyle has announced that it will invest millions of pounds over the course of the next three ...
Dornbracht debuts Rainmoon wellness shower concept at  Salone del Mobile
Rainmoon is a multi-sensory wellness experience designed to revitalise and reinvigorate the user
Lauren Heath-Jones
Dornbracht, a German-based luxury bathroom specialist, has launched an innovative new shower experience, Rainmoon. Slated as the next generation of ...
cladkit product news
Empex Watertoys partners with Singapore architecture firm on new splash park
Buds is a new splash park that caters to children aged 12 and under
Lauren Heath-Jones
Empex Watertoys has partnered with Singapore landscape architecture firm Playpoint Singapore Pte to create Buds, an exciting new splash park ...
Kvorning wins contest to design aquaculture exhibit at Norway's Coastal Museum
The exhibition explores the history of Norway's fish-farming industry dating back to 1970
Lauren Heath-Jones
Copenhagen-based design studio Kvorning Design and Norwegian advertising agency Vindfang have won a competition, organised by Museums in Sør Trøndelag ...
Carlo Ratti's 'wonder wall' robot could become reality with kickstarter campaign
Unveiled at Milan Design Week, as part of Ratti's Living Nature installation, the Scribit is the result of Ratti's ongoing investigation into and development of writing machines
Lauren Heath-Jones
Carlo Ratti Associatti has developed an intelligent robot capable of writing and drawing on vertical surfaces. Called Scribit, the device ...
cladkit product news
EAS PREVIEW: Bright Buildings to exhibit BrightOpen designs
Bright Buildings will be showcasing its range of BrightOpen buildings
At this year’s Euro Attractions Show (EAS), design and architecture firm Bright Buildings will be exhibiting its range of BrightOpen ...
London's new pollution-eating living wall has air purifying power of 275 trees
CityTree is a living wall that reduces particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide in the air by 30 per cent
Lauren Heath-Jones
The Crown Estate, a London-based commercial real estate company, has partnered with Westminster City Council and cleantech specialist Evergen Systems ...
Ben van Berkel launches UNSense startup to boost health and wellbeing in built environments
Kim Megson
Dutch architect Ben van Berkel and his design firm UNStudio have launched a tech startup to “improve the health and ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates