Now four years old, architectural practice MUMA (less well-known as McInnes Usher McKnight Architects) has made a striking improvement to the Royal Academy (RA) restaurant, transforming the previous interior by the late Theo Crosby to excellent effect. Originally designed as the Refreshment Room by Norman Shaw in 1885, this is only the third design in more than a century. Proper ventilation has been installed under banquette seating, the acoustics have been improved significantly (along with lighting), and the whole thing demands to be used. The restaurant will now be open for business every Friday night in addition to its daytime trade; diners will be able to admire not only the existing murals by a variety of RA hands - most recently Leonard Rosoman - but also sculptures from the RA collections by Frink, Paolozzi and Barry Flanagan, among others.
Meanwhile MUMA, which won the job in competition, is busy with two art galleries at Newlyn and the V&A's new Medieval and Renaissance galleries - a £20 million job that will take five years to complete.