15 Rutland Square was one of two townhouses owned by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson (1834 - 1921), one of Scotland's most distinguished architects, who designed Glasgow Central Station, Mount Stuart House on Bute and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. As founder and first President of the RIAS he bequeathed the house and its furnishings to the Incorporation.
The building, which dates from the 1830s, was designed by the architect John Tait and sits in the western-most area of the Edinburgh's New Town. The interiors of the building have been sensitively adapted as offices and meeting rooms to address the needs of a dynamic creative profession.
Upon entering 15 Rutland Square a small entrance hallway gives onto the bookshop/reception area. A Members Room (the Joyce B. Deans Room) with comfortable seating sits just behind the bookshop. The bookshop and the Joyce B. Deans Room are open to visitors and the Incorporation's Members during the working day.
The large and impressive Council Room on the first floor is the most elaborately decorated of the Incorporation's rooms. The Council Room displays one of Scotland's finest collections of Twentieth Century portraiture, depicting virtually all of the Incorporation's Past Presidents. The adjoining Library still contains its historic bookcases.
A further meeting room, the Garden Room, was created in 2011 to enhance the building's flexibility and services for the RIAS membership. The balance of the accommodation within the building's tight six storey plan serves as offices and service accommodation for RIAS staff and visitors.
The Incorporation's second President, Sir John Burnet, inaugurated a collection of busts of celebrated Scottish architects and the series of Presidential portraits. To this day, RIAS Presidents are asked to gift a portrait by an artist of their own choice to the Incorporation. A number of distinguished artists are represented in the RIAS collection of Presidential portraits, including Sir Stanley Cursiter, Alberto Morrocco, Jack Knox, Alexander Goudie and Norman Edgar.
In recent years, a number of the Incorporation's distinguished international architect Honorary Fellows have contributed an impressive collection of signed original works and prints which are displayed within the building. These include works by Tadao Ando, Ted Cullinan, Lord Foster, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, Richard Mayer, Ian Ritchie, Lord Rogers, Moshe Safdie, Alvaro Siza and Robert Venturi.