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Fobert and Purcell win National Portrait Gallery refurbishment job

National Portrait Gallery
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Jamie Fobert Architects has been appointed to deliver the National Portrait Gallery’s £35.5 million refurbishment

The practice, working with heritage specialist Purcell, will lead the project, which will increase public gallery space by around 20 per cent, enhance the gallery entrance and create a learning centre.

The practice will also work with engineers Max Fordham and Price & Myers on the scheme.

The AJ understands that other practices in the running for the job included David Adjaye, OMA, Farshid Moussavi, 6a, Caruso St John and Haworth Tompkins.

Practice director Jamie Fobert said: ‘The National Portrait Gallery plays a unique and important role in the cultural life of our nation, charting our past and engaging with the present.’

Around 60 per cent of the project’s funding has already been raised, with the Heritage Lottery Fund allocating £9.4 million to the scheme last summer. The gallery said it hoped to reach its target by March 2019, allowing completion by 2022.

Gallery director Nicholas Cullinan said: ‘We were impressed by Jamie’s evident love of the gallery, its collection and building, and the clear vision he had for how to make the most of these for our visitors, as well as his affinity with art and artists.

‘Following his much-lauded work at Tate St Ives, and forthcoming projects such as Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, this is the perfect time to work with Jamie as we take the National Portrait Gallery into one of the most exciting chapters in its history.’

The gallery originally opened in 1896 to designs by architect Ewan Christian.

National portrait gallery

National portrait gallery

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