Institut français du Royaume-UniFrench Institute Trust

Support Connexion

A major project of the French Institute in the UK

To be unveiled at the end of lockdown

*Visuals: 3D Imagery, French Institute Foyer, Spring 2021 © McFarlane Latter Architects

The French Institute in the UK is currently completing a large-scale refurbishment project and will unveil a new exceptional cultural experience in South Kensington in the course of spring 2021.
Accessibility and tech facilities are the keystones of this project, transforming the French Institute’s spaces into a seamless and interactive visitor experience.

Thanks to the generous support of private donors and foundations, we have reached 90% of our fundraising target and need £50,000 more to complete the project. Become a patron to help us finalise the Connexion project!
You can be involved in the education project, which focuses on the construction of a new space for school activities at the heart of the French Institute in the UK.

Support l’Atelier: a new space for school activities in 2021!

*Building work in progress, March 2021 © French Institute in the UK

Young audiences are a top priority for the French Institute with 10,000 pupils from 153 schools visiting yearly - 93% of which are British - and a rising demand from British and bilingual schools in the UK to visit our cultural venue.

To intensify the impact of our education programmes we are planning to open « l’Atelier», a new learning space to welcome British and international students aged 4 to 17. This learning space will host educational workshops, interactive activities and creative sessions tailored to young audiences’ specific needs.

Until now, school activities were held in various spaces of the French Institute or the Language Centre, which were limited in capacity and not adapted to young learners. The French Institute team is thus planning to refit a 35m² room, located on the ground floor, in order to properly welcome pupils and develop its school activities.

Renovations include the setting up of technical equipments such as ventilation, acoustic treatment, modular components, a video projector and a screen.

*Building work in progress, March 2021 © French Institute in the UK

*Workshop and school group at the French Institute in the UK © French Institute in the UK

This ambitious renovation project aims to:
    - Offer a dedicated space to educational activities, one of the Institute’s key missions;
    - Make the Institute’s onsite educational & cultural offer more attractive;
    - Develop audiences with a strong focus on young visitors;
    - Allow access to disabled pupils and welcome them in the best conditions;
    - Broaden the scope of the French Institute’s onsite activities & programmes.
We are looking for private and corporate support to help us complete l’Atelier and enable a state-of-the-art educational space built at the heart of the French Institute.

What have we done so far?

*Visuals: 3D Imagery, French Institute Foyer, Spring 2021 © McFarlane Latter Architects

We improved accessibility: 100% of the French Institute's spaces are accessible to all audiences with a new elevator linking the ground floor to the basement. L’Atelier, Ciné Lumière I and II have reserved areas for people in wheelchairs and adapted lavatories.

We have invested in tech facilities: the space now offers immediate and comprehensive information on the French Institute's programme with editorial content displayed on large screens, highlighting the partners of the French Institute. Newly implemented automated and digitised systems will regulate the flow of visitors and offer an easierst and more enjoyable cultural experience.

We have reshaped the interior design: Revamped acoustics and lighting is now highlighting the features and grandeur of the exceptional Art Deco premises. New signage will provide clear and attractive directions to visitors who will discover the Institute at the reopening. We also acquired new Designer furniture in order to add a stylish touch to the spaces.

We have transformed the French Institute’s entrance hall into a digital hub with a new lift, new signage, new lighting and acoustic treatment. The space now embodies the wealth and diversity of our multidisciplinary programme of cinema, music, dance, visual arts, theatre and literature.

Construction work is led by Mcfarlane Latter Architects and has been taking place at the French Institute since November 2020.

About the French Institute in the UK

The Institut francais du Royaume-Uni is part of the cultural representation of the French Embassy in the United Kingdom. Our essential diplomatic mission is to promote French language & culture in order to encourage cross-cultural exchange and cultural diversity in the UK.

Founded in 1910, the Institut français du Royaume-Uni is a leading cultural destination and the first reference for French arts & culture in the UK. Our cross-disciplinary cultural centre is widely renowned for its language centre, its listed library and recent extensions (multimedia library & children’s library) alongside Ciné Lumière (including 2 screens), which has established itself as one of London’s top repertory cinemas.

Leading institutions partnering with the Institut français include: the Barbican Centre, the BFI, the British Council, the British Library, Imperial College London, King’s College London, the National Gallery, Sadler’s Wells, the Serpentine Galleries, Tate Modern and Tate Britain, the University of Oxford and the V&A.

For more information about the French Institute, visit our website, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Contact our team if you wish to further discuss the Connexion project.

*Visuals: 3D Imagery, French Institute Foyer, Spring 2021 © McFarlane Latter Architects


Bertrand Buchwalter, Director of the French Institute in the UK
Cultural Counsellor to the French Embassy in the UK

Charlotte Fechoz, Partnership Manager, French Institute in the UK