Research and Development studio

Historic Royal Palaces R&D studio

Historic Royal Palaces R&D studio

About us

We are Historic Royal Palaces’ in-house creative development studio. We experiment and innovate in collaboration with artists and creatives – exploring new ideas and concepts to engage the public in our spaces and stories.

Our focus is on new forms of public engagement for heritage: signature live performances, art installations and the use of immersive technologies.


How we work

We operate a rolling programme of temporary residencies, where artists or creatives are invited to spend time developing work. Sometimes this is in response to specific projects or challenges from colleagues within Historic Royal Palaces. Some projects are more speculative, with artists whose work we think is particularly powerful and relevant - or who could help us reach a new audience.

Residents are given use of the R&D studio at Hampton Court Palace (or a similar space), access to expert knowledge from across the organisation and producing support.

In addition to seeking creative collaborations, we explore new business and operational models and the commercial partnerships required to deliver these. We also look to make connections with like-minded peers and creative networks across industries and welcome opportunities to share lessons learnt.

The studio has enabled relationships to develop with partners across art forms, including theatre, music, live art, creative technology and visual arts. Several of these have gone on to produce critically acclaimed and/or award-winning visitor experiences.


Past projects

The Lost Palace

The Lost Palace is a tour of the lost Palace of Whitehall, a magnificent royal palace that was destroyed by fire 300 years ago, using binaural audio theatre, location-based interactive technology, architectural installations and live performance.

The Lost Palace was developed in collaboration with Chomko and Rosier, Uninvited Guests (with Lewis Gibson) and Calvium Ltd and ran from 2016-2017. 

Described by Time Out as “Funny, moving and fascinating…more attractions should be creating experiences like this”, The Lost Palace was the winner of the innovation prize at the 2017 Museums + Heritage Awards, the 2017 EU Heritage in Motion Award, and the 2019 international Best in Heritage IMAGINES Project of Influence award.

Long Live Queen James!

A Jacobean drag show in Polari, telling the tales of James I’s relationship with his male favourites. Developed in collaboration with Mark Ravenhill and Scottee, Long Live Queen James! performed twice at Banqueting House (2017, 2018) and toured to Latitude festival (2019).

Banqueting House Rubens gigapixel

A new interactive tablet display gives visitors to Banqueting House an artists' eye view of the Rubens' ceiling – right down to the level of the individual brush strokes.

Based on new ‘super-zoom’ gigapixel technology, the app was created using 1,400 high-resolution photos of the ceiling, digitally stitched together. Created by Madpixel, in partnership with Historic Royal Palaces – powered by their gigapixel platform Second Canvas.

Find out more
East Wall was a dance and music performance at the Tower of London in summer 2018. Created in partnership with Hofesh Shechter, East London Dance, London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) and Historic Royal Palaces

East Wall

A music and dance spectacular in the Tower of London’s moat, featuring over 160 performers and developed in partnership with Hofesh Shechter Company, East London Dance and LIFT. East Wall was performed as part LIFT festival 2018 and described by the Guardian as “an exhilarating open-air performance to celebrate the gory, glorious history of the city’s East End” in their 5-star review.

Watch East Wall: Storm the Tower

How to work with us

If you want to find out more about how we work, please contact [email protected]. At present we invite artists and creatives we want to work with and we do not accept speculative requests – but this may change in future.

The R&D Studio team are Tim Powell, Head of R&D Studio and Emmanuel Adanlawo, Assistant Producer R&D Studio.