The Royal College of Music (RCM) has celebrated the ‘topping out’ milestone of the More Music: Reimagining the Royal College of Music building development. The last part of the concrete structure was poured in the presence of RCM Director, Professor Colin Lawson. ‘Topping out’ is a builders’ rite traditionally held when the fundamental structure of a development is completed. The project now has an exciting year ahead as the new building development is completed, ahead of the official opening next year. Designed by architect John Simpson, the reimagined RCM will include two new performance spaces, more practice rooms and social spaces, as well as a new home for the Royal College of Music Museum.
Representing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the RCM’s facilities, the courtyard at the heart of the College’s iconic South Kensington campus is the focus of the development. The campus has been rearranged to improve access throughout and maximise space for major enhancements which will benefit students, staff and visitors. The development is funded by a £40 million philanthropic Campaign, of which HRH The Prince of Wales is Patron. As of January 2019, the RCM has raised almost £20 million of the £25 million target for the building development. As well as new facilities, the More Music Campaign will also expand the RCM’s scholarships and bursaries programme.
The RCM has partnered with UK construction contractor Gilbert-Ash, whose award-winning projects include refurbishment works to the Grade II listed Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, the extension of the Institute of Engineering & Technology in London and the iconic 450-seat Everyman Theatre, which won the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2014.
Professor Colin Lawson, Director of the Royal College of Music, said: ‘I am delighted to mark this significant moment in the More Music building development, alongside our Gilbert-Ash colleagues. The transformation of the courtyard has been astonishing since we broke ground in summer 2017.’
The More Music: Reimagining the Royal College of Music building development has been made possible through the generosity of many supporters. In particular, the RCM would like to thank Founding Patrons including the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Kingdom Music Education Group, Rena & Sandro Lavery, Ruth West HonRCM & Dr Michael West and the Garfield Weston Foundation for their significant contributions.