Royal Academy of Arts


Client: Royal Academy of Arts
Contractor: John Sisk and Son
Architect:  Sir David Chipperfield & Conservation: Julian Harrap Architects.
Location: London
Duration: 1 year
Category: Fibrous Plasterwork and Lime Plaster restoration
Budget: £800,000





As part of the Royal Academy of Arts 250th anniversary, this iconic British institution is undertaking a £12.7 million restoration funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HFL), private individuals, trusts and foundations.

Our decorative ceiling moulding and restoration expertise were called upon when we were asked to replicate existing plasterwork, repair areas in multiple rooms and dismantle the historic ceiling in the British Academicians Room.  We took the ceiling down in sections and later reassembled this ceiling in the newly constructed wing where the BA room has been replicated. We had to store the 150 ceiling pieces in a secure unit while we worked on producing bespoke moulds to recreate missing or damaged sections.  We cast moulds of each section we took down, to ensure we safeguarded the original ceiling.

We have created new decorative arches to match existing and manufactured and installed a bespoke fibrous plaster niche in the main entrance. The most spectacular room to work on has been the Lecture Theatre where we surveyed and secured the original ceiling. We are repairing and replicating existing mouldings to return this room back to its former glory.”

Our hard work has been recognised as we recently won an excellence award sponsored by FisSkills for this project.  We have also been featured in an article in the Premier Construction magazine.  To read the article click here.

Throughout this project we have been working closely with the Conservation Architect, Julian Harrap Architects. Lyall Thow, Partner, he added:

“The service that Artisan Plastercraft has been providing is of the highest quality. Their skill in restoration has been demonstrated in the British Academicians Room where they have managed to conserve large areas of the original plasterwork as opposed to re-construction.”

Sir David Chipperfield CBE RA, Architect behind the work, said:

The project is an architectural solution embedded in the place itself, a series of subtle interventions which will add up to something very different. The big change is that the Royal Academy will have two entrances: a front door facing Piccadilly in the south and a new front door to Burlington Gardens, Cork Street and Bond Street.”

The restoration plans will link Burlington House on Piccadilly and Burlington Gardens for the first time, uniting the two-acre site.

When our works are completed we shall showcase the final look – please continue to check our news and social media channels for updates on this project.

In the meantime to follow the Royal Academy redevelopment’s progress and other plans to mark the 250th anniversary, please visit: https://