On Saturday 19 September the RCP are taking part in Open House, the world’s largest architectural festival. This year, while our building remains closed, our events have moved online.
You could join historic architecture expert, Dr Barnabas Calder, on his virtual tour of the RCP’s striking Regent’s Park building. Take part in an online artist workshop with Amanda Couch inspired by our current exhibition ‘Under the skin’. Or tune in to watch a fresh video exploring rarely seen archival material about the creation of our building. All our events, as with all of the Open House festival, are free to attend.
Take a look below to find out more about how you can enjoy the day and book to take part.
11am - Digital workshop: Extispicy in the everyday with artist Amanda Couch
Join this workshop for an exploration of human-environment binaries through the gut with artist Amanda Couch.
The workshop draws on Amanda’s artwork and research into the ancient practice of extispicy – divination using the entrails. Discover more about Amanda’s art and the practice of extispicy, find and share materials in your local environment that resemble our own internal structures, and consider how our guts connect to our external environment over a gut-friendly snack.
‘We will explore the thresholds between our bodies, in particular our guts, and the natural and built environment, to re-conceptualise these seemingly boundaried entities. Through our activities we will explore and problematise human-environment binaries.’ - Amanda Couch.
Amanda’s work features in our current exhibition ‘Under the skin: anatomy art and identity’.
*This event is now fully booked.*
1pm - Archives and architecture at the RCP: creating a modernist masterpiece
Watch a brand-new video with assistant archivist Felix Lancashire as he explores the Royal College of Physicians’ archives to uncover the story of how our most recent home came to be. Featuring rarely seen letters, plans and construction photographs from Denys Lasdun and his architectural firm
4pm - Virtual guided tour with historic architecture expert, Dr Barnabas Calder
Designed by modernist architect Denys Lasdun the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) is one of London’s most important and provocative buildings. One of only a handful or Grade-1 listed post-war buildings it’s usually a firm favourite of Open House. Dr Calder is Senior Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Liverpool and a specialist on Denys Lasdun's architecture.
*The event is now fully booked. However, we have decided to also stream the talk live on our YouTube channel! Unfortunately we will only be able to respond to questions from those who have booked a ticket to take part on the online platform but you will still be able to watch on the RCP YouTube channel .*
Denys Lasdun's Royal College of Physicians
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) is one of London’s most important and provocative buildings. It is one of only a handful of grade I listed post-war buildings and a firm favourite at Open House, the annual architecture festival that champions great design for all. Designed by British architect Sir Denys Lasdun (1914-2001), the building is set amongst the Regency terraces of Regent’s Park.
The Regent’s Park building was commissioned in 1959 and opened in 1964. It is the RCP’s fifth home since its foundation in 1518. The RCP was given permission to demolish a bomb-damaged Nash villa on the site on the condition that the new building harmonised with its surroundings. Lasdun was appointed after making it clear that he would not create a classical building. In 1992 Lasdun was awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Trustees Medal in recognition of his work at the RCP, considered to be ‘the best architecture of its time anywhere in the world’.
Open House London
Open House London, the world’s largest architectural showcase begins with a weekend of events on 19 - 20 September and runs until 27 September. Over 800 buildings across London will offer events to the public across the festival – all free.
The event gives the public a unique opportunity to explore and learn about how the city is developing, and discover how great design – in architecture, urban design, planning and infrastructure – can transform the lives of everyday people for the better.