Renovation and Exhibition: On the Occasion of the 250th Anniversary of the Royal Academy
Visitors to the Royal Academy now have about 70% more space available to them, for Burlington Gardens, a Victorian building from 1870, has been added to Burlington House, the main structure. Along with refurbishing and renovating the existing building, Chipperfield has given the ensemble a connecting bridge of exposed concrete. This bridge, known as Weston Bridge, links Burlington House with Burlington Gardens. It is an important component of the complex pathway leading through the various functional areas of art school and exhibition spaces.
Indeed, the Royal Academy is more than a museum; it is an educational institution and venue for discussions and debates on topics relating to art and architecture. Its direction is determined by the Royal Academicians, a group of 80 elected members, all British passport holders, who have established themselves in the world of art and architecture. Renzo Piano is an honorary member of this club.
The exhibition The Art of Making Buildings shows 16 of Piano’s best-known buildings in the three spaces of the new Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Gallery. The focus of the exhibition is the operations of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, which is documented with many working and 1:1 models, plans, sketches, photos, films, renderings, patterns, building materials and notes scribbled onto precise CAD drawings. The middle, darkened room displays a large model of a city featuring buildings designed exclusively by Renzo Piano. In the background, a film is running in which the architect speaks about his work.