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Sackler Galleries, Royal Academy of Arts
Piccadilly, London
Sackler Galleries, Royal Academy of Arts
associated engineer
Albert Williamson-Taylor
Anthony Hunt Associates
Anthony Hunt
date  1991
era  Modern  |  category  Building  |  reference  TQ290806
photo  courtesy Anthony Hunt
To create the Sackler Galleries on the top floor of the Royal Academy of Arts, a new structure had to be inserted into an existing Grade I listed building.
The original was, in fact, two buildings, and the architect's design made use of the formerly dead space between them to provide stair and lift access to the new galleries.
Increased load on the existing structures had to be kept to a minimum. This was achieved using a pair of circular columns, 245mm in diameter and 9m tall, to support the landing floors of the two upper levels and the entire glass and steel staircase. Additional lateral stability is provided by the stiffness of the stairs themselves, in which stainless-steel angles, 30mm x 20mm, are welded into a rectangle to support each of the glass treads.
At their tops, these columns are supported by a glass bridge, which is tied to concrete floor plates. These carry lateral loads to the end walls of the building.
The new roof is supported by the original walls, and pin-joints have been used to fix the columns to steel beams at roof level, thus preventing any bending from being transmitted through the joint.
Architects: Foster and Partners
reference sources   LG/SJ

Sackler Galleries, Royal Academy of Arts