Friends, members and supporters of the Royal Society of Sculptors responded generously to their appeal to save Dora House. And now, as we enter the final month of the year, they are delighted to announce that the external restoration is complete and Dora House will be opening in February 2023.
Dora House has always led a creative life. It is one of the oldest building in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea and has been a home - and studio space - for a sculptor and also a base for photographers, painters, architects and designers. In an area dominated by stuccoed Italianate villas, its highly individual, Dutch-Revival facade catches the eye. Built in red brick with a pair of steep, Flemish style gables and tall leaded light windows, it makes a unique architectural statement.
The sculptor Cecil Thomas bought the house after the war, naming it after his beloved wife. He generously bequeathed it to the Royal Society of Sculptors in the 1970s, giving the organisation a permanent headquarters.
In 2021, The Board of Trustees decided it was time to repair and restore the building. Working from the top down, specialist craftspeople have made the beautiful building safe, sound and structurally dry, whilst also restoring the building to its original glory.
Every aspect was carefully considered, from the chimney to the signature wrought iron balconies, from the front door to the stone work. Meanwhile, interior works are now being undertaken.
The Royal Society of Sculptors are looking forward to welcoming visitors in February 2023 with the opening of the First Plinth: Public Art Award exhibition with artist Polly Morgan.
To find out more about the project, click here.