The Royal Academy of Engineering, 3 Carlton House Terrace, launched its new meetings and event facilities yesterday (16 October) by renaming itself Prince Philip House.
Check out the gallery of the event here.
Following a £6.5m renovation and refurbishment, the Grade 1 listed Prince Philip House, which was originally designed by John Nash with views of London’s The Mall, was launched to an audience of 250 Royal Academy fellows and press, including Conference News.
The event was hosted by the President of the Royal Academy Sir John Parker and included a speech by the Senior Fellow HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the academy’s Chief Executive, Philip Greenish.
The Duke of Edinburgh has always been an enthusiastic supporter and advocate of the Academy of which he is the Senior Fellow and has been since it was created in 1976. Prince Philip said: “This splendid building is ample proof that this academy has been a huge success and is now serving a vital national purpose. I am hugely honoured that this national headquarters is named after me. I wish the academy’s fellows, and this building a prosperous and creative future.”
The academy moved to their current premises in 2007. “From the outset we had a very different vision for this building,” Greenish said. “We set out to create fine public spaces which would allow us to welcome people from across society to debate important issues and explore and be excited by engineering.”
Seventy-two years ago the building was badly damaged by bombs that landed next door. It was finally reinstated in the 1960s only to be damaged again by fire in 1989 and then “poorly renovated at the time before the academy took it over,” Greenish added.
Architect Stephanie Fisher, from Burrell Foley Fischer LLP, redesigned the venue with the academy’s vision in mind in a modern but sympathetic style that would suit the academy’s use. “It needed to be flexible in use to suit both meetings and events, receptions and for exhibitions,” added Greenish.
The venue’s 10 event spaces suit dinners, receptions and meetings for up to 200 delegates. The rennovation was finished in April 2012 but not officially launched until yesterday. Since the rennovation was finished the venue has hosted events, "mainly via word of mouth," Prince Philip House’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Becci Thomson, told Conference News.
Venue General Manager, Rupert Outram, said: “Prince Philip House is a central London venue for small- to mid-sized business events of up to 200 people. The whole venue is spacious and light, and has a dedication to corporate responsibility and sustainability."
There are four multi-use rooms at ground level, which can be used individually or as a suite. A 150-seat lecture theatre is located at first floor, together with an overflow lecture theatre/meeting room and break out space. The large lecture theatre can be subdivided into two smaller rooms with an acoustic ‘sky wall’, which retracts into the ceiling void. Each of the principle rooms is controlled based on occupancy, temperature and CO2 levels, which balances the drive for reduced energy consumption with the importance of indoor air quality and occupant wellbeing.
Harbour Jones has been appointed the inhouse caterer and events team for Prince Philip House.
At the event Prince Philip unveiled a new triptych portrait that was commissioned by the academy fellow Dame Stephanie Shirley and painted by Paul Brason. The Duke was then invited to survey the rooms containing displays of great engineering feats including a Rolls-Royce fan blade, spray-on clothing and robotic sea creatures.
“This building has come alive and has put engineering at the heart of society,” said Greenish.
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