The Royal Academy of Arts’ members’ club has reopened following a colourful redesign by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (MBDS).
Vintage mohair and leather furniture, as well as bespoke pieces conceived by MBDS, are among the additions in the Palladian Academicians’ Room – originally designed as a gallery space by architect Norman Shaw in 1883. Traces of past exhibitions remain in the form of markings on the wall.
‘Our inspiration was guided largely by the original Norman Shaw room,’ says Martin Brudnizki. ‘With its perfect Palladian proportions, fine paintings adorning the walls and light cascading from above, it felt like your quintessential English drawing room.’
The members’ club will display a rotating selection of works by Academicians and will host salon-esque events.
Other handpicked furniture in the space includes 1950s yellow velvet Paolo Buffa chairs and 1960s tanned leather library chairs. Floor lamps made in the 1950s and 1960s brighten up the room, along with a pair of tiered chandeliers suspended from the ceiling trusses. A new zinc-clad bar – with food and drink served by Peyton & Byrne – comes with antique brass bar stools.
The Academicians’ Room is sited within the Royal Academy’s 19th-century Keeper’s House, which opened to the public in 2013 following a revamp, master-planned by Long & Kentish Architects.
Work will soon begin on a £50 million redevelopment to connect the RA’s Burlington House and Burlington Gardens buildings.