Royal College of Music - Prince Consort Road, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 29.986 W 000° 10.631
30U E 695922 N 5709181
Quick Description: The Royal College of Music was designed in 1889 by Sir A W Blomfield and was built between 1890 and 1894. Arthur Blomfield was awarded the Royal Gold Medal in 1891.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 8/7/2013 7:30:21 AM
Waymark Code: WMHR33
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member razalas
Views: 1

Long Description:

The Royal College of Music, that stands on the south side of Prince Consort Road, opposite the Royal Albert Hall, is Grade II listed. The entry at the English Heritage website tells us:

College. Designed 1889, built 1890-4 by Sir A W Blomfield; concert hall to rear 1899-1901 by Sidney Smith. Red brick with stone banding on ground floor and dressings. throughout. Five storeys with attics and double basements on steeply falling site. Symmetrical composition with entrance vestibule and staircase hall on central axis with concert hall behind; former examination rooms underneath this now sound studio. Main range with basement library, ground and first-floor offices with practice rooms above. Main facade of twelve bays with towers to either end capped pyramidal tops and tourelles. Central arched entrance with two subsidiary arched entrances flanking. Two centre bays set forward above, with superimposed orders of paired pilasters in free Ionic and Corinthian orders, and stone gable above with inset clock flanked by finials. Windows mullioned and transomed, mainly square-headed except alternate segmental heads to third floor, and those to towers and central gable which are semi-circular with cuspless tracery. Pediments to second floor windows. Bands between floors and cornice above third floor. Elaborate gabled dormers with pedimented tops and finials. Rear elevation with mullioned and transomed windows under square heads, a plainer design. Marble-lined entrance hall, double height with gallery and incorporating First World War memorial. Ceiling here and in former ground-floor council room, now offices, of Jackson's patent ornamental plasterwork. Elaborate doors to staircase hall, where imperial stair has simple iron balustrade, which leads on axis to Smith's concert hall. This has barrel-vaulted roof with coffering between trusses, which rest on massive modillion moulded cornice under square clerestorey windows arranged in threes. Under this five-light round-arched mullioned and transomed windows with floreate mouldings, their spandrels filled with reclining bas reliefs. Panelling below dado rail. Large stage (extended later C20 and not special) with round-arches over entrances either side of organ by J W Walker and contemporary with hall. Small balcony over entrances to rear, with above that a round-arched internal window. Most interiors of the main building retain original doors, cornices and mouldings. Of particular interest is the former Donaldson Museum, now part of the library, in the lower basement, with classical arcades - round-arched and with keystones - in the spandrels of which are paintings by Gaston de Vaere. Trabeated ceiling with elaborate stenciled decoration. Moorish gallery. Also impressive are the music rooms in the attic, with open timber trusses and dado panelling in Blomfield's distinctive idiom; these undergoing careful restoration in 1994.

The Scottish Architects website tells us about Sir Arthur:

Arthur William Blomfield was born on 6 March 1829 at Fulham Palace in London the fourth son of Charles James Blomfield, Bishop of London 1828-1857. He was educated at Rugby School and Trinity College Cambridge from which he graduated BA in 1851 and MA in 1854. In 1852 he was articled to Philip Charles Hardwick and about this time he travelled on the Continent with Frederick Pepys Cockerell. In 1856 he commenced independent practice was notably successful as a church architect, in large part due to his father having established a diocesan fund for new churches. He was president of the Architectural Association in 1861 and was elected FRIBA on 20 May 1867, his proposers being George Gilbert Scott, H Brandon and J P Seddon.

Blomfield was appointed architect to the Bank of England in 1883. He also held the post of architect to the Diocese of Winchester. He was elected vice president of the RIBA in 1886, was knighted in 1889 and was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal in 1891. His sons, Charles James Blomfield and Arthur Conran Blomfield were assumed into partnership in 1890 and after 1901 respectively.

Arthur William Blomfield died on 30 October 1899.

Architect: Sir Arthur W Blomfield

Prize received: RIBA Royal Gold Medal

In what year: 1891

Website about the Architect: [Web Link]

Website about the building: [Web Link]

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