The annex provides additional gallery, auditorium and cafe space to the Royal Academy, connecting Burlington House and 6 Burlington Gardens and activating the existing services yard for public.
The gallery is positioned on top to take advantage of daylighting from the roof. The auditorium is placed on ground with minimal daylighting requirements. These two main elements are split apart to create a space in between for the cafe.
The free facade at the end of the yard becomes a new site for artworks and video pieces with the new annex providing a raked viewing platform.
The gallery roof incorporates pivoted panels in a pixel arrangement, which can be locked into place to allow the curation of daylight and shadow within the space.
The environmental strategy for the building works to reduce the reliance on air-conditioning systems in extremes of weather and high levels of occupancy. A concrete labyrinth in the plenum below the building utilises thermal mass to cool air down before releasing it under the seats of the auditorium. Low energy fans can be used to pump warmed air out to the stack where actuators in the roof open panels to release it.