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Student Showcase Archive

Darwin Building, RCA Kensington

A key part of the College’s investment in its physical and intellectual infrastructure, the GenerationRCA campaign will provide considerable and necessary refurbishments to our beloved Darwin Building, sensitively returning the iconic tower to its former stature.

‘The Royal College of Art, as it became known in Queen Victoria’s Jubilee year, has always stood at the apex of art education in this country.’
– Sir Robin Darwin CBE, KCB and former Rector (introducing the College’s Royal Charter in 1967)

With its eight floors of bold, industrial architecture, the Darwin Building on Kensington Gore stands alongside its cultural counterparts in Albertopolis – far surpassing its namesake’s expectations for the College.

The adaptable studios at Kensington will continue to respond to contemporary questions, challenges and needs. Plans for Darwin’s evolution include: flexible working space on the ground floor; the reconfiguring and modernisation of its studios; new ‘clean digital’ workshops; a fully refurbished café; and a brand new reception area facing Kensington Gardens.

‘Coming from West Hartlepool Art School to the Royal College of Art on Exhibition Road was a major opportunity for me. To gain a place at the RCA in 1958 was significant – like it is today – but was also the result of an intense personal commitment to work, to challenge myself to improve and to persist in the face of sometimes difficult challenges. Eureka! I got in! But it was all about hard work and loving it…

More than five decades later, I’m very glad to see the Darwin Building evolve to meet the high standards and needs expected of the world’s leading art and design College. With our support, the College’s historical home will provide the very best facilities and work spaces for students and will encourage a collaborative environment needed to cultivate the creative visionaries for the new and exciting opportunities of the future.’
– Sir Ridley Scott (MDes Graphic Design, 1961)

Darwin Building
Darwin Building
Photographer: Richard Haughton


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Development & Alumni Relations Office
Royal College of Art
Kensington Gore
United Kingdom