The Royal College of Art (RCA) is a public research university in London, United Kingdom, with campuses in South Kensington, Battersea and White City. It is the only entirely postgraduate art and design university in the United Kingdom. It offers postgraduate degrees in art and design to students from over 60 countries.
The Darwin Building in Kensington Gore. South Kensington, was completed 1960-1963. It is a short distance from the RCA’s home 1896-1967 in the Henry Cole Building, now part of the V&A Museum. The Darwin Building was designed by a team of RCA staff members, H. T. Cadbury-Brown, Hugh Casson and Robert Goodden. and since 2001 has been a Grade II listed building. It is named after painter Sir Robert Vere Darwin, known as Robin Darwin, who was RCA Rector at the time it was commissioned. Although there was modest development into the mews behind the Darwin Building, the restricted site meant further expansion had to be in another part of London.
In 1991 the sculpture department moved to a converted factory in Battersea. In the early 2000s the college conceived a substantial extension on the site, with a minibus service linking it to Kensington. After a redevelopment by Wright & Wright (budget £4.3m, floor area 2,500 sq m), the Sculpture Building opened in Battersea in January 2009. In 2018 the RCA was granted planning permission to redevelop the Sculpture building into a new Arts & Humanities building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, with work planned for completion in late 2021.
A masterplan was commissioned from Haworth Tompkins and phase 1 of their three-phase design was completed with the opening of the Sackler Building on 19 November 2009, to house the painting department. Its name commemorates a major gift by The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation.
The Dyson Building, named in honour of James Dyson, whose charity donated £5m towards the £21m cost, was opened on 24 September 2012. It houses printmaking and photography, and contains an innovation wing where start-up designers can launch their businesses. The Woo Building was opened on 30 September 2015, completing the Battersea project. It is named in honour of Sir Po-Shing and Lady Helen Woo, who have funded scholarships at the RCA since the 1990s. It accommodates the Ceramics & Glass and Jewellery & Metal programmes. The building’s anodised aluminium gates were designed by alumnus Max Lamb.
In 2017 RCA White City became the third RCA campus, co-located with the BBC Media Village and accommodating the School of Communication, Animation and Digital Direction and Communication Design in buildings designed by Allies and Morrison.