English Heritage. NMR)

Aerial photograph of the South Kensington area, 2006 (Copyright: English Heritage. NMR)


Answer: Creating the Cultural Quarter in South Kensington (and popularising the Christmas tree).

A new online exhibition from the RIBA has gone live. Albertopolis, curated by Susan Pugh (RIBA Drawing and Archives Collections), explores the development of South Kensington and the Exhibition Road Cultural Quarter through material from the collections of the RIBA and other institutions. The area developed as part of Prince Albert’s vision for a cultural quarter, his involvement was such that the area was nicknamed Albertopolis.

South Kensington and the Exhibition Road Cultural Quarter serves today as a world-class cultural and educational centre, containing many museums, archives, and educational institutions. How this all came about and the stories of each of the main organisations involved are told in the exhibition.

So next time you visit the museums of South Kensington, thank the vision and energy of Prince Albert in transforming a quiet part of west London into a unique area of world importance.

Watch the exhibition video: Albertopolis: the Development of South Kensington

Tell us here what you think of the exhibition and share your memories of Albertopolis and South Kensington.

About Wilson Yau
I work for the British Architectural Library at the RIBA as part of a team to share news, images and information online about the activities of the Library and the fascinating items we have in our architectural collections – it contains over four million items, so there's plenty to see! If you’re curious about what we do at the Library and with the collections, or want to discover the latest about our education programmes, public events and exhibitions at the RIBA, please visit www.architecture.com

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  1. Andy Lee

    January 6, 2011

    Albertopolis – a great online exhibition with very interesting archive material – I look forward to the V&A exhibition later in the year.

    Andy Lee (Learning Project manager – Natural History Museum)

  2. Oxford Architects

    May 23, 2011

    Kensington has some wonderful architecture, I love walking round there when ever I’m in London!

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