Client: Royal Academy of Music
The present main building of the Royal Academy of Music on London’s busy Marylebone Road was a century old in 2012, designed by Sir Ernest George and Alfred Yeates. The brief was to undo the muddle of a century’s modifications and clarify signage and circulation and provide a civilised atmosphere.
A radical decision was made to reinstate the original interior of 1912 which would also improve the setting and visibility of a series of fascinating mural paintings, located in apses on the marble walls below the vaulted ceiling.
Symmetry was reinstated in the plan of the whole entrance space – making clear routes from the main doors between two new reception desks. The decision to reinstate a mosaic floor to the original design and install new onyx light fittings helped considerably to harmonise the period flavour of the space with the colour palette of the murals. Heavy aluminium entrance doors were removed and replaced by frameless glass doors which help to emphasise the quality of the heraldic wrought-iron screen and reveal views of the mature plane trees.