London’s Royal Academy Celebrates 250th Anniversary With £50 Million Revamp
The Royal Academy of Arts in London has announced an extensive redevelopment project which will reach completion as the institution celebrates its 250th anniversary in 2018.
The revamp will be partly funded by a £12.7 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as with donations from a range of private patrons, including the Clore Duffield Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation, and the Foyle Foundation.
The ambitious project has been designed by the architect David Chipperfield, who has added a second entrance to the building, meaning visitors will be able to access the exhibitions from both Piccadilly and Burlington Gardens.
Burlington House is already a London landmark, and is home to both the renowned Royal Academy exhibition spaces and the Royal Academy Schools.
The new building will feature a 260-seat lecture theater, extended galleries to showcase the vast Royal Academy collections, and a new learning center.
The new layout will give visitors a peek into the inner workings of the RA schools, with the addition of a windowed link bridge with views over studio rooftops and an outdoor garden space.
Founded in 1768, the Royal Academy has long been an essential part of the art establishment in the UK. In recent years, the historical institution has gone some way to shaking off its stuffy image, hosting the Dazed and Confused Emerging Artists Award (see Lawrence Lek Wins 2015 Dazed Emerging Artists Award with Site-Specific Video Game) and playing host to contemporary sculpture in their famous courtyard space (see Frank Stella’s Gigantic Stars Land at the Royal Academy of Arts).
An artist-led institution, its list of members runs the gamut from master painter J.M.W. Turner to YBA Tracey Emin (see Tracey Emin’s Dejection Is Becoming Too Predictable).
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