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AIA UK Building Tour - The Royal Society of Arts

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AIA UK Building Tour - The Royal Society of Arts

  • Royal Society of Arts 8 John Adam Street London, WC2N United Kingdom (map)

The AIA UK Chapter cordially invites you to the next in our ongoing series of building tours:

The Royal Society of Arts 

by: Matthew Lloyd Architects 

Alex Sherratt will give a short introduction to the project, followed by a general building tour and discussion.


Meeting Point: Main Reception area

2 CES Credits are available and admission is free of charge.

Places are very limited. Please RSVP online by clicking here.


Designed by Robert and James Adam and completed in 1774, the RSA (Royal Society of Arts) is the earliest example in English architecture of purpose-built headquarters for a learned society. Described at its opening as ‘beautifully simple without meanness, and grand without exaggeration’, it underwent numerous architectural transformations in the 19th and 20th centuries, with some of the renovations diminishing its Georgian purity and splendour.

The building is composed of a five-housed Georgian terrace; nos 2-8 John Adam Street and no 18 Adam Street. The buildings have three basement levels and the lowest brick arches sit on top of the former North bank of the Thames. No. 8 John Adam Street is Grade 1 listed and the remaining houses are Grade 2* listed. 

The client’s brief was to produce a space with state-of-the-art technical capabilities, accommodating a wide variety of functions, but in keeping with the fine 18th century architecture. The design of the interior was developed in long and close collaboration with the RSA’s House Development Committee, and sought to restore the beauty of the original architecture where it had been diminished, while retaining, where appropriate, later interventions of good quality to reveal the building’s evolution over some 250 years.