Schools and teachers

The British Architectural Library’s collections of over four million artefacts provide a fantastic and rare resource to use with all age groups to support the teaching of subjects across the curriculum

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As part of the V&A + RIBA Architecture Partnership the Library offers programmes for primary and secondary schools including guided and self-led visits, online resources, resource boxes and an online careers hub. For bookings or to discuss your visit, please contact us:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7307 3704 (Monday to Thursday) 
Email: library.education@riba.org  

visits

Students making models, Education Room, RIBA

Get hands-on with the collection at either or both of our sites:

  • RIBA’s HQ at 66 Portland Place
  • RIBA Architecture Study Rooms, Architecture Gallery and wider collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum


RIBA HQ, 66 Portland Place

  • Book a workshop for your group to get hands on with the collections  
  • Book an interactive tour of this amazing 1930s Art Deco building 
Students sketching in the Florence Hall, RIBA, 66 Portland Place
Students at a learning event, RIBA

Investigating the history of  66 Portland Place , this interactive tour gives students the opportunity to discover how the building was designed and made and how it has changed over time. Incorporating creative tasks and observation drawing, this tour is a hands-on exploration of architecture and design. 

RIBA at the V&A

There are a number of options both self-guided and supported available for groups.

  • book a  resource box  to use with your group in the RIBA study rooms
  • download  teachers' notes  on a variety of different subjects to support your visit
  • investigate the collections on public display in the Architecture Gallery (Room 128) at the V&A

 

Resource boxes

Exploring skylines 

  • Key stage 3-5 Art & Design

This resource focuses on city skylines and explores how individual buildings, their design, structure and materials, combined create an important aspect of a city's visual identity: its skyline. The resource asks students to explore a range of drawing approaches, discuss their views on historical and contemporary architecture and think about what they would like cities to look like in the future. It investigates drawings models and fragments of buildings from the V&A and RIBA's unique architecture collections. It identifies key designers and historical events that have influenced the design of London's skyline and considers what factors make some skylines more distinctive than others.

Designing pattern

  • Key Stage 3-4 Design & Technology
  • Key Stage 3-4 Art & Design

This resource provides an innovative approach to teaching pattern and design. Explore the outstanding V&A and RIBA architecture collections and the decorative V&A building with students to discover how patterns are used in architecture and interior design. Investigate how pattern motifs can reflect different cultural values and identity. Give students an exciting design brief to create their own pattern designs, inspired by their research.

Design processes 

  • Key stage 3-4 Design & Technology

This resource explains the design processes used in architecture and shows how they can inspire and facilitate other design projects. It draws on the V&A collections and the RIBA archive of architectural drawings, manuscripts and models. Suggested activities in this resource will develop students' design knowledge and skills. With reference to major building projects including Stansted Airport, Sydney Opera House, the Eden Project and 30, St Mary's Axe (the Gherkin), students will learn how to translate ideas and inspiration into practical designs and how to present their designs in sketches, scale drawings and models.

Architects drawings and ideas 

  • Key stage 3-5 Design & Technology

This resource contains a selection of some of the different types of drawings architects produce at different stages of the design process in order to develop and communicate their ideas. Produced in the 1770s to the late 1990s they also demonstrate how architects’ approaches to drawing and techniques have evolved over time.

 

 

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