Hoskins Architects’ £16.8 million redevelopment of the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh will be delayed for ‘several months’ in a bid to keep the scheme within budget
Construction work on the new galleries for the project, which aims to improve access to the National Galleries of Scotland’s collection of Scottish art, was due to start this month.
However, the client, National Galleries, has said a full start on site will be postponed for ‘several months’ after it became clear during work on detailed designs and tender packages with main contractor Interserve that elements around the delivery were ‘more complex and potentially more expensive to implement than was originally anticipated’.
National Galleries said in a statement: ‘We therefore have to carry out some value engineering in the coming months in order to streamline some parts of the construction and bring the plans into line with our budget.
’In practice, this means that we will be re-examining some of the specifications and construction methods for aspects of the design to ensure that the project stays within cost.’ It hopes work can begin on site later this year.
Glasgow-based practice Hoskins Architects was appointed to the project – called Celebrating Scotland’s Art - in 2014, with its founder, Gareth Hoskins, creating a design for the revamp of William Henry Playfair’s building before his death at the beginning of last year.
The planned redevelopment, which attracted a £4.94 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant last year, will triple the exhibition space for the gallery’s Scottish collection from 440m² to 1,320m², improve visitor access and create a new entrance for the museum within East Princes St Gardens.
John Leighton, director general of the National Galleries of Scotland, told The Herald newspaper that he hoped the new spaces would open as planned in Spring 2019.
He said: ‘It was always a complex project in terms of its position – over the railway line, under a Category A-listed building, in a World Heritage Site – and it has thrown up some complications, such as with access, preparatory works and so on, but I am not fazed by it at all.’