Richmond, The American International University in London, is throwing open its doors to the public as part of the Open House London 2019 initiative taking place on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September. Open House London is the world’s largest architecture festival, giving free public access to more than 800 buildings, walks, talks and tours over one weekend in September each year. Over a quarter of a million people are expected to take part in the event across London.
Based near the crest of Richmond Hill, the University is located in a beautiful five acre site in an impressive, Grade II listed, neo-Gothic building in Bath stone. A second campus was opened in Kensington in 1978 for third and fourth year students, with additional sites in Florence, Rome and Leeds.
The construction of the main Richmond building began in 1841 and was completed in 1843, when it opened as the Richmond Wesley Theological Institute as part of the University of London, with 41 students in residence. The architect was Andrew Trimen, who specialised in the design of religious buildings. The main entrance of the College was in Friar’s Style Road, where the original plaque can still be seen.
Richmond’s extensive gardens contain many rare specimens of plants and trees, gathered and planted by the missionaries from their journeys abroad, many of which are registered with Kew Gardens.
The University was founded in 1972 by the social entrepreneur and politician Sir Cyril Taylor, chairman of the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS), which had been using the college site for a number of years for their London study abroad programmes, after Sir Cyril Taylor purchased the site.
Today, the building is a proud symbol of Richmond’s heritage and home to many international students, where two of the finest education systems in the world are combined – the US broad curriculum with the British system of specialisation.
Student-led tours of Richmond, The American International University in London, will be taking place on Saturday 21 September, from 1.00–5.00pm and on Sunday 22 September from 10.00am-1.00pm. Visit Open House London for more details