The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Photo c. Henrietta Goodden
Photo courtesy RCA Archive

100 Buildings 100 Years

1963: Royal College of Art, London

Status: Listed Grade II
Condition: Good condition
Type: Education
Architect: H T Cadbury-Brown with Sir Hugh Casson and Robert Goodden
Owners: Royal College of Art
Location: Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2EU

I have a personal passion for the RCA building, designed by a team including my father, Robert Goodden, who, though trained as an architect, was Professor of Silver and Jewellery, and Pro-Rector of the college. He acted as consultant architect, preparing the brief in consultation with each department and project managing the development. Long after he left, I was also a tutor there.

Its dark austerity contrasts so enormously with the splendid Victoriana of neighbouring Albert Hall and the dazzle of the Consort’s memorial opposite, that it stands out like an alien; but this in itself is proof of its power and integrity. It was actually designed to fit in with its neighbours, then covered with black soot. The audacious ‘baronial modernism’ of the monolith houses a unique workspace purpose-designed for the students of the 1960s, an enormous factory-gallery which has inspired, and continues to generate, the best ideas in the world.

by Henrietta Goodden

Listing description

Search 100 Buildings 100 Years

Look for buildings by entering the name of a building or architect or browsing the drop down list. Each entry gives the architect and location, and the icons show listing status. Where available, we have linked to detailed online information about the building, such as the Historic England listing description.

  • Search

  • Or