The Royal College of Music has announced that it will be launching a £25 million redevelopment of its historic facilities starting in 2016.
Plans for the South Kensington building will focus on the open courtyard space at the heart of the Prince Consort Road campus. They also include development of two new performance spaces, with capacities of 90 and 150 people, for rehearsals, master classes, performances, community workshops, exhibitions and collaborative music making. The result is expected to benefit visitors as well as students, as it will include a café, a bar and open air spaces, in addition to more step-free access around the place.
The new additions will be designed by architect John Simpson, and are expected to be a significant investment in professional music education in the UK.
“There are so many parallels between music and architecture,” says John Simpson. “It is an enormous privilege to be involved with an architectural project of such significance where one is contributing to the continued excellence of such a distinguished national institution as the Royal College of Music.”
The RCM’s More Music campaign to fund the developments will have patronage of the Prince of Wales. The conservatoire’s Museum of Music will also benefit from a new, permanent home further strengthening the RCM’s public engagement.
”This is a vital development for the RCM,” says Professor Colin Lawson, the Director of the RCM. “We have always been a home for creative pioneers and our physical spaces must keep pace with our artistic ambitions. The development of our courtyard space will radically enhance our facilities.”