The Royal Academy of Arts reopened on May 19, 2018.
FROM THE ARCHITECTS:
Founded in 1768, the Royal Academy of Arts is unique in being led by artists and architects whose purpose is to promote the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate. The Royal Academy’s art school (RA Schools) is the oldest in Britain and is regarded throughout the world as a centre of Piccadilly, in central London. The acquisition of 6 Burlington Gardens, originally designed as the Senate House for the University of London in the 1860s, enables the Royal Academy to extend and expand its facilities directly to the north of Burlington House.
The project started with a masterplan for the two-acre site that promoted a development with a light touch and the refurbishment of the two Grade II* listed buildings. This approach draws on the existing building structures and ensures that interventions are kept to a minimum and remain sympathetic to, and in some cases enhance, the historic fabric.
A central public link will connect the two buildings, allowing the Royal Academy to extend its programme into 6 Burlington Gardens and providing better visitor and technical facilities in Burlington House. The public link will also reveal the workings of the institution. The transformation of 6 Burlington Gardens includes the contemporary reinstatement of an over 250-seat auditorium, the restoration of a series of listed rooms to accommodate a third run of galleries, and additional retail and catering facilities. The RA Schools will be partly reconfigured and extended, improving the facilities available to students and making visible the their integral role in the institution.
The completion of the project coincides with the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy in 2018.