David Chipperfield Completes Refresh of Royal Academy of Arts

The enclosed, concrete bridge guides visitors through a former storage vault that is now a gallery. Image courtesy Simon Menges.

The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) in London is set to reveal its extensive renovation from David Chipperfield as part of its 250th anniversary celebration. Outfitted with a new auditorium and updated galleries, the structure is also outfitted with a new concrete bridge that links the main building, Burlington House, to its rear annex.

Images courtesy Rory Mulvey and Simon Menges.

Chipperfield’s revitalization project is largely anchored by enhancements to the 19th century structure installed directly behind the institution’s main venue on Burlington Gardens. The building has been renovated with improved accessibility, and is now linked to the main building via an enclosed concrete bridge. Connected at ground level, the new route guides visitors down stairs at the back of the Burlington House into a former storage vault now repurposed as a gallery.

Image courtesy Rory Mulvey.

The project also includes interior upgrades to Burlington House, like the addition of new stone floors in the entrance foyer as well as the reconstruction of the 260-seat Victorian lecture theater, which is adorned with new ironmongery and leather bench seating. The building’s main grand staircase and circulation spaces are also restored along with galleries, while a new café and bar have opened on the first floor.

Images courtesy Simon Menges.

Following the renovation and expansion, the RA has introduced its first exhibition space dedicated exclusively to architecture.