Royal Albert Hall, first proposal


Victoria and Albert Museum

Institutional Internal Reference Code:



Model of the Albert Hall

Date of creation:

ca. 1864

Extent and basic medium:

1 model

Name of creator(s):

Fowke, Francis (captain, designer), Members of the Corps of Royal Engineers stationed at South Kensington (probable makers)

Administrative / contextual / biographical history:

The model shoes the proposed designs for the interior of the Hall of Arts and Sciences (Royal Albert Hall). Oval in shape it is in two parts with the roof cut away from one half revealing the interior details. In the centre there is an oval arena surrounded by tiers representing raked seats, a double row of boxes and an arched gallery. Above this the roof curves inwards and there are ‘stained glass’ windows (in watercolour) which portray chivalric figures and crests. The interior is painted in yellow, black, brown and white.

This model was submitted to Queen Victoria by Sir Henry Cole and Richard Redgrave at Osbourne House on 30th January 1865. It shows the proposed design for the interior of the Hall which was intended as an exhibition venue.

For more information, please read Experimenting with Models: The Royal Albert Hall’s case

Conditions governing access:

V&A, South Kensington

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Materials, physical characteristics and technical requirements:

Cardboard, wood, plaster, paper, painted

Finding aids available:

V&A Search the Collections catalogue –

  • Leslie, Fiona. ‘Inside Outside: Changing Attitudes towards Architectural Models in the Museums at South Kensington’, Architectural History, 47, 2004, pp. 159-200.
  • Physick, John and Michael Darby, /’Marble Halls’: drawings and models for Victorian secular buildings, London, HMSO, 1973

Exhibition / display history:

Exhibited in the Display ‘Building the Royal Albert Hall’, V&A, 6 May 2017 – 7 January 2018.

Subjects (Getty Art & Arch Thesaurus):

Theatre, architecture; model-making, models (representations)


London, South Kensington.


Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, Henry Cole, Prince of Wales, Francis Fowke, Royal Engineers.