The Belle Shenkman RoomSource: © David Chipperfield Architects
Work will include the restoration of many of the building’s original architectural features
David Chipperfield and Long & Kentish have been chosen to renovate a wing for the Royal Academy of Arts in central London, which will be open to the general public as well as Friends of the Royal Academy.
Long & Kentish will lead on the £5.7 million project, which will see the creation of new spaces in the Keeper’s House — designed by Sydney Smirke in 1866 — part of the eastern wing of the academy’s Burlington House.
Work will include the restoration of many of the building’s original architectural features, including the mansion’s original beams. Artist Grayson Perry has created new artwork for the Keeper’s House, which will also feature a restaurant by Oliver Peyton. The Keeper’s House architecture room will also be restored, providing further space for events including artists’ talks, book readings, exhibitions and family workshops.
David Chipperfield, meanwhile, will refurbish two spaces open to Friends of the Royal Academy, the Sir Hugh Casson Room and Belle Shenkman Room. He will also work on a new dining room and a bar overlooking the garden. Christopher Le Brun, president of the Royal Academy, said Chipperfield’s designs would provide “relaxing, stylish and culturally-inspired spaces in the heart of London”.
Speaking at the launch of the project today Chipperfield said: “We’ve tried to create the atmosphere that will get rid of the polytechnic feel [of the existing Friends area]. We’ve also tried to make sure it’s not over interior designed, which is hard to do when you’re interior designing.”
Charles Saumarez Smith, secretary and chief executive of the RA, added: “I am delighted that this project means we have the space to do more with our public programme.”
Chipperfield is also working on designs to renovate the former Museum of Mankind at 6 Burlington Gardens, which neighbours the Royal Academy. Funds for the project are currently being raised.
The refurbished Keeper’s House opens in spring 2013.
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