‘Coronation City’, 66 Portland Place

‘Coronation City’, Gallery 1, 66 Portland Place (Photographs by Wilson Yau)

With the Diamond Jubilee celebrations just days away, it seems appropriate that earlier this week the atmosphere at this month’s Last Tuesdays event at the RIBA took a patriotic feel.

‘Coronation City’: Exhibition curator Catriona Cornelius with one of the first visitors

‘Coronation City’: Exhibition curator Catriona Cornelius (left) with one of the first visitors

‘Coronation City’: Exhibition curator Catriona Cornelius giving a talk

‘Coronation City’: Exhibition curator Catriona Cornelius (right) giving a talk

From Assistant Curator Catriona Cornelius (RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections) was a pop-up exhibition at RIBA headquarters, 66 Portland Place. In front of Union Flags was a temporary display of material from the RIBA collections recording the preparations and street decorations made by designers to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. Alongside photographs and vintage architectural journals from the 1950s, there were original drawings featuring designs from architects such as Sir Hugh Maxwell Casson and Eric Bedford and a toy peepshow by photographer Edwin Smith. During the day, Catriona gave two drop-in talks to members of the public about the background to the material on show and enlivened by new facts unearthed from her recent research into the RIBA archives.

The material for this one-off display has now returned to the British Architectural Library at the RIBA – if you missed it, here are a few pictures:

‘Coronation City’: Photograph of ceremonial arches over The Mall and sketches of Westminster Abbey by Hugh Casson

‘Coronation City’: Photograph of ceremonial arches over The Mall (left) and sketches of Westminster Abbey by Hugh Casson (right)

‘Coronation City’: 'Long Live the Queen' decoration banner for the side of Hungerford Bridge, designed by Hugh Casson

‘Coronation City’: 'Long Live the Queen' decoration banner for the side of Hungerford Bridge, designed by Hugh Casson

‘Coronation City’: 'The Picture Post Coronation Peep-Show Book', devised and drawn by Edwin Smith

‘Coronation City’: 'The Picture Post Coronation Peep-Show Book', devised and drawn by Edwin Smith

But that was not the only event that day. On the last Tuesday of every month, the building and its bookshop, restaurant and library stays open until late alongside a programme of talks, exhibitions and building tours – all celebrating architecture. Here are few photographs of what else happened while Union Jacks were on display in Gallery 1:

Free building tour led by Education Curator Elizabeth Grant

Free building tour led by Education Curator Elizabeth Grant

Florence Hall: ‘The Two Clarinets’ and ‘Contemporary Norwegian Architecture’ exhibition

Florence Hall: ‘The Two Clarinets’ and ‘Contemporary Norwegian Architecture’ exhibition

Last Tuesdays: Restaurant terrace, 66 Portland Place

Last Tuesdays: Restaurant terrace, 66 Portland Place

(Photographs by Wilson Yau)

Next month

‘Play’ is the theme of the next Last Tuesday on 26 June. The building is open late every Tuesday (until 10pm), including the Library (until 8pm), exhibitions, bookshop, restaurant and bar.

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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