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The transformation of the College building: past, present and future

We are redeveloping our London home in Lincoln’s Inn Fields as part of our Transform project. This will enable us to create world class education, examination and research facilities, an improved member space and a flexible, more efficient working environment for the future.

Navigate through the past, present and future of the building in this exhibition by clicking on the images below.

RCS College building redevelopment RCS College building redevelopment RCS College building redevelopment

The past

The Royal College of Surgeons’ presence in Lincoln’s Inn Fields has a rich history which dates from the purchase of the first property, number 41, in 1797.

Over the next 100 years the Royal College of Surgeons would gradually expand to own numbers 37 to 42 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and would undertake four separate building projects. The main building, which has come to be known as the Barry building, is named after architect to the second building project, Sir Charles Barry, who would go on to design the Houses of Parliament.

The Barry building was almost completely rebuilt in the 1950s and 60s, following extensive bomb damage in World War II.

These images will give you a brief glimpse of our building’s unique past.

The present

In September 2017 we closed the doors to some of our facilities and building work commenced.

A period of ‘soft stripping’ commenced and the tightly managed removal of asbestos followed. The demolition of part of the building dating from 1941 followed this, with this work completed in May 2019. Construction of the new College began the same month and is now well underway.

The building work is on target to complete in autumn 2020 and after a period of installation we will open the doors to members in 2021.

The following timelapse video and images in our exhibition tracks the progress of the rebuild since September 2017.


The future

The redevelopment will create a fit-for-purpose building for the RCS which reflects both our past and our position as a relevant 21st century organisation.

Our Bulletin article in November describes the new facilities and outlines our vision for an open and inclusive home for surgery.

Find more images of what the College will look like in our digital exhibition.


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