Somerset House is a large Neoclassical building situated on the south side of the Strand in central London, England, overlooking the River Thames, just east of Waterloo Bridge. The building, originally the site of a Tudor palace, was designed by Sir William Chambers in 1776, and further extended with Victorian wings to the north and south.The East Wing forms part of the adjacent King's College London. In the late 20th century the building was reinvigorated as a centre for the visual arts. The first institution to move in was the Courtauld Institute of Art, including the Courtauld Gallery, which has an important collection of old master and impressionist paintings. In the late 1990s the main courtyard ceased to be a civil service carpark, and the main terrace overlooking the Thames was refurbished and opened to the public. A visitor centre featuring audiovisual displays on the history of the building; the gilded state barge of the Lord Mayor of the City of London; and a shop and cafÃ© were opened in the wing overlooking the river. Somerset House now puts on a programme of art exhibitions drawing on various sources. In the winter the central courtyard is home to a popular open air ice rink. At other times, an array of fountains display 55 vertical jets of water rising to random heights. The courtyard is also used as a concert venue.