Building on our heritage: the future of our Lincoln's Inn Fields buildings
We are redeveloping our London home in Lincoln’s Inn Fields
Our two existing buildings in Lincoln’s Inn Fields were almost completely rebuilt in the 1950s following extensive bomb damage in World War II. However they are uneconomical, inflexible, expensive to run and refurbish, and have become an obstacle to future progress.
We plan to transform our London base into a modern, light and flexible facility to provide the best possible education, examination and research facilities for the profession while embracing our prestigious heritage. As well as modernising our inefficient and ageing estate, the redesign will reflect our changing functions as a home for surgical excellence in Britain and across the world in the 21st century.
Read more about the background to Project Transform by Derek Alderson, RCS President Elect.
The project so far
- We hosted a series of previews and public exhibitions of the redevelopment plans in September to ask for feedback from members, stakeholders and the public. View the redevelopment designs.
- We submitted our application for planning consent to Westminster Council on 21 September and received approval in January 2017, subject to conditions as expected.
- We have been discussing our plans with the specialty associations based in the building, including their space within the building during the interim period and post-2020.
- We have developed plans ensuring that we minimise the impact of the redevelopment to the services we provide to our members, customers and visitors, and we will continue to provide information on our website as the project progresses.
Key dates for the future
|Provisional key dates of the project|
|Planning application process||21 September to 17 January 2017|
|Nuffield hotel closure||31 March 2017|
|Wellcome Museum of Anatomy and Pathology closure||28 Feb 2017|
|Hunterian Museum closure||20 May 2017||November 2021|
|Lincoln's Inn Fields conference and education facilities unavailable for hire||30 June 2017||
|Archive services closure||24 March 2017||Autumn 2020|
|Library services - amended service||24 March 2017||Autumn 2020|
Your services in the development phase and post-2020
We will continue to run a range of courses throughout the period of building works. These will be delivered working closely with partner(s) and further details will be available shortly.
Our regional course provision will be unaffected by the redevelopment.
Our aim for 2020 is to provide the profession with a state of the art, flexible and adaptable Professional Surgical Centre within the redeveloped RCS building that can be used for courses, innovation, development and piloting, and research. We are finalising the plans for a forward looking space that provides a great learning environment.
We are currently in the process of sourcing a suitable London venue to use for examinations during the development period. Once found and secured, we will need to prepare the venue for use. The normal programme of exams will not be affected.
We have reviewed the available options for holding examinations, which will continue to take place from our redeveloped London home. We are now finalising the design plans to ensure an efficient, modern, working environment.
Library, museums and archives
Our library, museums and archives contain 223,609 boxes and individual items.
We are in the process of cataloguing, cleaning and packing these objects in preparation for moving them into storage both off site and to collections stores in the Nuffield Building. This is a huge logistical task and many volunteers are helping support the professional conservators, librarians, archivists and curators.
We are developing collaborations with several leading heritage organisations in order to enhance the storage and display of our collections during the development of the Lincoln’s Inn Fields building. We anticipate being able to make further announcements on these exciting partnerships, once contractual details have been agreed, early in the new year.
The new Hunterian Museum will, like the current museum, be a world-class showcase for the history, science and art of surgery. Located at the heart of the new building, on the ground floor and providing much improved physical access, it will include a temporary exhibition space and public learning centre. Visitors will be able to enter from both Lincoln’s Inn Fields and Portugal Street and new public facilities of a café and museum shop will be included.
The new Anatomy and Pathology Resource Centre (Wellcome Museum Collection) will be located in the basement area and will be developed, through the addition of online material and AV for use by groups involved in surgical and other medical training and in the study of human health.
Audience and academic research is ongoing and will inform the development and design of both museums.
Access to all RCS online resources and services including the Current Awareness Service and Literature Search Service will not be directly affected by the redevelopment project with staff fully supporting these services throughout the project. Over 90% of our current journal holdings are available electronically.
The Library Reading Room is now closed to visitors to allow essential work on the collections to be completed. During the closure we will work with partner institutions to provide managed access to our collections for study and research. We anticipate this access being in place by autumn 2017. We aim to be able to provide as many services as possible. It will, however, take longer to retrieve materials. Details on service requests will become available in the summer.
The RCS library on the first floor will remain and be refurbished and restored. Both physical and online library services will continue. There will be a members' library and a research suite where RCS collections can be studied with dedicated staff support.
Whilst a large amount of material will be permanently stored off-site, there will be a retrieval service in place for access to these books and journals.
Access to archives at the College will close on 24 March 2017 to allow us to prepare and pack the archives before moving.
We currently plan to re-open our service at a new temporary site in central London in autumn 2017. Once the service reopens you will be able to book an appointment via email. There will be some changes to request times as some archives may have to be recalled from another location outside London.
We are allocating the necessary space for our archives in the redeveloped building. More information will be made available once our plans have been finalised.
The members’ lounge will continue to be hosted on the ground floor of the Nuffield building throughout the building development project.
There will be enhanced social, networking and catering facilities throughout the building, including a revitalised café on the ground floor.
Interim and post-2020
Club Quarters, less than a hundred yards away on the adjacent side of Lincoln's Inn Fields, will provide hotel accommodation on our behalf to a high standard and at a discounted rate.
The discount will be available for events and meetings from 31 March 2017 onwards.