David Chipperfield's £50 million redesign of The Royal Academy of Arts unveiled

The architect is leading a 250th anniversary redevelopment which will link its two premises for the first time

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The Independent Culture

The Royal Academy of Arts has unveiled plans to redevelop its Burlington premises using a £12.7 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Designed by acclaimed architect Sir David Chipperfield, who recently completed the Museo Jumex in Mexico City, the two-acre site will be link the Grade II-listed Burlington House with Burlington Gardens for the first time.

The extension, which will cost £50m in total, will create more exhibition and display space across the site, allowing many artworks to be brought out of storage.

Key features include a double-height lecture theatre with over 260 seats, a new learning centre and a bridge connecting the house and gardens, creating a central route from Piccadilly to Mayfair.

The Royal Academy of Arts designs by architect Sir David Chipperfield

"The project is an architectural solution embedded in the place itself,” Sir David said, describing it as “a series of subtle interventions which will add up to something very different."

He continued: “The big change is that the Royal Academy will have two entrances; a front door facing Piccadilly in the south and a new front door to Burlington Gardens, Cork Street and Bond Street.

“It's a small amount of architecture for a profound result."

An outside area designed by David Chipperfield for The Royal Academy of Arts

Redevelopment is set for completion by 2018, just in time for the 250th anniversary of the art institution.

Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Academy said: “The physical transformation of the site will fundamentally change our 247-year old institution.

“This is not just a major building development; it is an undertaking which will transform the psychological, as well as the physical, nature of the Academy.”

The RA was founded by King George III in 1768 and is an independent, privately funded organisation led by artists and architects.