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Royal College of Art Marks Gift from Manfred and Lydia Gorvy

The Royal College of Art has announced that they will mark a substantial gift from Manfred and Lydia Gorvy with the naming of the Gorvy Kiln Room at the College’s Battersea campus.

The RCA's kiln room, ‘The Engine Room’, is at the heart of the Ceramics & Glass facilities on the Battersea campus. Containing 21 kilns of varying sizes, this year they will be used by 63 students across the programme. In addition to bringing 10 new MA programmes onto the College’s curriculum over the course of the next few years – focusing on the future challenges of the digital age – the RCA is proud to champion, with equal importance, the traditional arts disciplines and processes the College was founded on – the generosity of friends such as Manfred and Lydia Gorvy ensures this can continue.

This gift marks another milestone in the RCA’s GenerationRCA campaign, an ambitious five-year programme representing the world leading College’s most significant development since it was founded in 1837. GenerationRCA will transform its campuses and the ways in which the university teaches, researches and creates. On a site immediately opposite its existing Battersea campus, the RCA is opening a new state-of-the-art building, designed by internationally acclaimed architects Herzog & de Meuron. A landmark for London and British higher education, the development sets a new blueprint for creative education worldwide.

As members of the RCA’s Chancellor’s Circle, Manfred and Lydia Gorvy are key supporters of the RCA. Previous generosity to the College includes a significant gift in 2013, to fund the Gorvy Lecture Theatre in the Dyson Building (also part of the Battersea Campus). The couple’s philanthropy extends to many other cultural institutions including V&A, National Gallery, Tate and performing arts organisations as well as Jewish and disability causes.

Manfred Gorvy is a South African investor and philanthropist based in London. He is the founder and chairman of Hanover Acceptances, an investment firm with interests in property, food, agriculture and financial services. Lydia Gorvy has served on the Board of Directors of Hanover Acceptances since 1991 and, along with her husband, is a keen art collector.


If you would like further information or more images please contact RCA Press Office on t: +44 (0) 20 7590 4127, e: [email protected] 

Notes to Editors 

About the RCA 

The Royal College of Art, the internationally renowned art and design university, provides students with unrivalled opportunities to deliver art and design projects that transform the world. A small, specialist and research-intensive postgraduate university based in the heart of London, the RCA is a high performing institution, a radical traditionalist in a fast paced world. The RCA’s approach is founded on the premise that art, design creative thinking, science, engineering and technology must all collaborate to solve today’s global challenges.

The university employs around 1,000 professionals from around the world – professors, researchers, art and design practitioners, advisers and visiting lecturers – to teach and develop students in 30 academic programmes. RCA students are exposed to new knowledge in a way that encourages them to experiment. Working across scientific and technical canvases and beyond set boundaries, RCA students seek to solve real-world problems.

The RCA runs joint courses with Imperial College London and the Victoria & Albert Museum. InnovationRCA, the university’s centre for enterprise, entrepreneurship, incubation and business support, has helped over 50 RCA business ideas become a reality that has led to the creation of over 600 UK jobs.

Alumni include David Adjaye, Christopher Bailey, Monster Chetwynd, David Hockney, Tracey Emin, Thomas Heatherwick, Lubaina Himid, Clare Waight Keller and Rose Wylie.

The RCA was named the world’s leading university of art and design in the QS World Rankings 2019 for the fifth consecutive year.