Pride of place
Pride of place
By Sam Phillips
Published 15 November 2013
With the opening of the Academy’s Keeper’s House, a haven for artists and art lovers has been created in the heart of London.
From the Winter 2013 issue of RA Magazine, issued quarterly to Friends of the RA.
September saw the opening of the Keeper’s House, a suite of rooms in Burlington House in which Friends can eat, drink, relax and socialise alongside the many artists and architects who call the Academy home, from the art students in the RA Schools to Royal Academicians.
Academicians have been among the first to enjoy the spaces, which downstairs include a new restaurant, where architectural casts adorn the walls; the vibrant red Shenkman Bar with its walls of contemporary art; and the Academy’s garden, designed by Tom Stuart- Smith – ‘a wonderful secret garden’, says sculptor Conrad Shawcross RA.
On the ground floor the refurbished Sir Hugh Casson Room and Belle Shenkman Room are elegant and comfortable places for Friends to while away an afternoon.
The Keeper’s House once provided a home for the Keeper of the RA – the artist responsible for the Schools – and current Keeper Eileen Cooper RA is enthusiastic about its redevelopment. "It’s fantastic – and with its extended opening hours it’s great for Friends and other visitors."
Nicholas Grimshaw PPRA praised the restoration work by architects Long & Kentish and the interior design by David Chipperfield RA. "The Keeper’s House has been done to the most extraordinary high quality. All the finishes, the brass handrails and oak floors... it’s going to wear beautifully for Friends."
Sam Phillips is the editor of RA Magazine.
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