Explore a Grade I listed modernist masterpiece

The Grade I listed Royal College of Physicians (RCP) will be opening its doors to the public on Sunday 18 September 2011 between 11am and 4pm as part of Open House London 2011.

Visitors will have the chance to explore one of London’s most important and provocative post-war buildings. Designed by Sir Denys Lasdun (1914-2001), the striking Royal College of Physicians is a modernist masterpiece set amongst the Regency Nash terraces of Regent’s Park. In 1992 Lasdun was awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Trustees Medal in recognition of his work at the RCP, considered to be ‘the best architecture of its time anywhere in the world’.

On the day, there will be free architectural tours led by Dr Barnabas Calder and Dr Stewart Abbott, both experts on Sir Denys Lasdun. There will also be children’s quizzes and games and for the first time, free expert tuition from a professional architectural photographer on how to create the perfect picture. Visitors will have the chance to win a £50 gift voucher by entering their images in the RCP photography competition.

As well as architectural tours, there will also be free guided tours of the RCP’s acclaimed medicinal garden given by RCP fellow, Dr Henry Oakeley. Consisting of over 1,200 plants associated with conventional medicine, herbal medicine and medical figures, the garden commemorates both the medicines and the physicians of bygone ages.

Visitors on the day will also have the opportunity to discover nearly 500 years of medical history through free museum talks. Portraits, silver and medical artefacts reveal the story of the RCP from its foundation by Henry VIII in 1518 to today.

Emma Shepley, curator at the RCP said:

We are privileged to have such an architecturally significant building and London Open House is a great opportunity to share it with the public. All of the building’s public spaces will be available to explore on the day including the stunning tiered interiors of the Marble Hall, the historic Dorchester Library, the oak panelled Censors’ Room and the domed Council Chamber.

Architectural tours can be booked on arrival. Garden tours and historical talks will run throughout the day. Drinks and refreshments will be available.

Read more about RCP Open House 2011

RCP Open house 2011

11 St Andrew’s Place, Regent’s Park, NW1 4LE

Sunday, 18 September 2011

11am - 4pm

Free entry


For further information, please contact Andrew McCracken, RCP Communications and New Media Adviser, on +44 (0)203 075 1354 / 07990 745 608, or email andrew.mccracken@rcplondon.ac.uk

Notes to editors

  • Visit the Open House London 2011 website

  • RCP architectural, historical and garden tours

    • The RCP is open all year round Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Visitors can arrange tours of the building, museum collection and garden by contacting the Museum Team on 020 7935 1174 or heritage@rcplondon.ac.uk.
  • Open House 2011

    • Open House London celebrates all that is best about the capital’s buildings, places and neighbourhoods. Every September, it gives a unique opportunity to get out and under the skin of London’s amazing architecture. The full programme has details and opening times of all buildings and events.