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Open House at the RA

Special events

Saturday 20 September 2014
10am — 6pm

This event has now ended

See upcoming events

Burlington House

Join us on Open House weekend as we open the doors of our home: Burlington House and Burlington Gardens.

Dating originally from the 1660s, Burlington House has been our home since 1867, and has seen impressive additions over the years by such celebrated architects as Sydney Smirke, Norman Shaw and Foster + Partners. Continuing that rich history, Burlington Gardens, originally built in the 1860s, is currently the focus of a major redevelopment of the RA’s site by David Chipperfield Architects, due for completion in 2018.

Enjoy a range of events, activities and displays for all ages as you explore a number of our buildings’ hidden spaces and learn about four centuries of architecture.

Introductory talks

The RA’s Architecture Programme Manager, Owen Hopkins, peels back the layers of history to reveal the intriguing story of the RA’s famous home. (Talks take place in the Saloon at 1, 2, 3 and 4pm; no booking required).

Drawing in the historic Life Room

Become an art student for the day and draw from some of the RA’s extraordinary collection of plaster casts in the historic Life Room of the Royal Academy Schools. (Life Room; drop-in all day).

Tinctures, Tastes and Textures

Food historian Tasha Marks leads an audio described multisensory tour exploring the relationship between architecture, food and history through the layered histories of Burlington House. This event is aimed at engaging visually impaired individuals but is accessible for all. (Places limited; book now).

Explore Burlington Gardens

Learn about Burlington Gardens past, present and future in an exclusive tour led by the RA’s HLF Project Director, Ben Pearce. (Meet in the Burlington Gardens entrance hall at 12pm; no booking required).

Reimagining Mayfair pop-up exhibition

Check out a pop-up exhibition showing the results of the Reimagining Mayfair project, in which we asked teams of architects and other designers to come up with exciting new ideas for the area of Mayfair to the immediate north of the RA.

Family Fun: LEGO Dream Houses

In the 1720s Lord Burlington turned Burlington House into a town-place in which to entertain his aristocrat friends. Now you can build your own dream house from 70,000 multi-coloured bricks of LEGO! (Reynolds Room; drop-in all day).

The RA is participating in Open House for the whole weekend. See the programme for Sunday.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Saturday 20 September 2014

10am — 6pm

Royal Academy of Arts

Free, no booking required.