institution/profession, education, gallery, health, library, museum, online
Sir Denys Lasdun, 1964
11 St Andrew's Place, Regent's Park, NW1 4LE
Striking, provocative and one of London’s few Grade I listed post-war buildings. Drop in or take a tour of this award-winning building, from its modernist lines to dramatic interiors. See history.rcplondon.ac.uk/event/open-house-festival.
Great Portland Street, Warren Street, Regent's Park, Baker Street
453, 205, 88, 30, 27, 18
More details on the building’s accessibility provision is available at https://history.rcplondon.ac.uk/visit-us/accessibility
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) is one of London’s most important and provocative buildings. Designed by British architect Sir Denys Lasdun (1914-2001), the building is set amongst the Regency terraces of Regent’s Park – one of only ten Grade I listed post-war buildings in England.
Drop-in visitors will find out more about the design with our architectural plans, oral history interviews, video of the architect and photographs from our archives. We will also host three guided tours, all expert led, one in British Sign Language, two with a member of the archives, heritage library and museum team. Plus take a guided tour of the medicinal garden and try our treasure hunt!
The Regent’s Park building was commissioned in 1959 and opened in 1964. It is the RCP’s fifth home since foundation in 1518. The RCP was given permission to demolish a bomb-damaged Nash villa on the site on the condition that the new building harmonised with its surroundings. Lasdun was appointed after making it clear that he would not create a classical building. In 1992 Lasdun was awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Trustees Medal in recognition of his work at the RCP, considered to be ‘the best architecture of its time anywhere in the world’.
Lasdun’s creation places five hundred years of RCP tradition and collections at the heart of its startlingly modernist design.
The entrance of the building features a striking outward cantilever. Arrow-slit windows pierce the front of the top layer relieving the otherwise blank walls. The main building materials are blue engineering brick, creating surprising curves that contrast with the straight lines dominating the rest of the building. Elsewhere mosaic porcelain tiles are used.
The Lasdun Hall shows the influence of Le Corbusier on Lasdun with his use of ‘free forms, floating in space’. Light floods the Hall from the enormous windows looking out over St Andrew’s Place. The marble hall was created for ceremonial processions which wind up the magnificent squared spiral of the flying staircase.
The Censors’ Room is lined with 17th century oak paneling originally from the College’s third home in Warwick Lane. Lasdun considered the Censors’ Room to be the ‘heart’ of the College and placed it in the centre of the building.
The Council Chamber is part of Lasdun’s 1995-96 extension. It can be flooded with natural light from an ingenious hidden circle of skylights around the central dome. Lasdun described it as one of only three ‘entirely satisfactory spaces’ he created.
The Wolfson Theatre is the larger of the RCP’s two lecture theatres. Of note are the curved booths, clad in African hardwood, the gently curving textured concrete walls and the tiered slabs of the ceiling – best seen from the stage.
Lasdun described the Dorchester Library as the ‘brain’ of the building. There has always been a Library in the RCP and over the centuries fellows have donated books to build one of the finest collections outside Oxford and Cambridge.
The Osler Room is the RCP’s formal function and dining room. It rises two storeys high (mirroring the Dorchester library) and features one of the few working hydraulic walls in buildings of this period.
The Royal College of Physicians' garden isn't your typical garden. It is unique in that almost every one of the 1000+ species of plant here has a link to medicine. The myriad of stories they tell come from diverse cultures, different countries and from every age in recorded history. There will be tours of the Garden given by our Garden Fellows available from 11am.
We will open the doors of our London office to showcase a selection of our projects, celebrating new buildings and the conservation of existing buildings in the historic context. We welcome discussion and debate from all.
scientific, offices, institution/profession, health, museum
9 Fitzroy Square is the home of the British Cardiovascular Society. In addition to original architectural features, visitors will be able to view the BCS collection of objects illustrating the history of cardiology. Last entry 3.30 pm.
Robert Adam, 1794
institution/profession, gallery, library, museum
Fine example of Grade II* listed 1930s architecture with many original features and fittings and home to the world-class British Architectural Library collections.
George Grey Wornum, 1934
Guided tour / Talk
government, embassy/high commission
Georgian townhouse built by Robert and James Adam in the years 1776-1780 is a fine example of the Adam style of Neoclassical interior design. Seat of the Polish Embassy in London since 1921, it also houses a collection of Polish artworks.
James and Robert Adam , 1776
An enduring, distinctive feature of the London skyline for the last 54 years, this is a rare opportunity for members of the public to visit the famous revolving floor, 158m above the capital. After the flight the guests can watch a history of the BT Tower film in our auditorium.
Eric Bedford and G. R. Yeats, 1965
The University of Westminster was one of the first polytechnics in the UK. Founded in 1838 as the Royal Polytechnic Institution, it was established to educate the working people of London, regardless of background or financial status.
George Mitchell, 1912
historical house, institution/profession, museum
Grade II listed building with neoclassical portico. Highly decorated meeting rooms throughout the building with ceiling and wall mouldings, and artwork featuring Venus the Goddess of Love and the Greek Muses.
Robert and James Adam, 1776
Drop in / Guided tour
institution/profession, gallery, health
Grade II* listed building. Restored in 2012 to showcase magnificent Edwardian faience tile work, mosaic floor and other historic features in transformed modern surroundings that now provide the headquarters of the RCGP.
Arthur Beresford Pite, 1908
religious, recreational, historical house, community/cultural, gallery, concert/performance space, mixed use
Loughborough Pearson's red brick building is unimposing from the outside, but inside is a riot of Gothic Revival design. Golden mosaics reveal the character of the Grade II* listed chapel, built as part of the Middlesex Hospital.
J. L. Pearson, 1891
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