Purcell has been chosen to design a new 200m² exhibition space inside London’s Grade I-listed National Gallery
The appointment comes 25 years after Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown completed the museum’s last major extension overlooking Trafalgar Square.
The duo were parachuted in to work on the high-profile Sainsbury Wing after competition-winning designs by ABK were torpedoed by Prince Charles who dubbed the scheme a ‘monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend’.
Purcell’s latest scheme (pictured) will create a new yet-to-be named exhibition area connecting two existing galleries within the William Wilkins’ 1838 landmark.
It will fuse together the ground floor cruciform galleries and Room A which hosts the museum’s ‘back catalogue’ and is only open on Wednesdays and one Sunday every month.
Originally accessed from nearby Orange Street, Room A was constructed in 1975 and features artworks from the 13th to the early 20th centuries in chronological order.
Despite being near to each other the two exhibition spaces’ entrances are far apart, confusing visitors to the prestigious gallery.
Purcell’s appointment follows 25 years working with National Gallery conserving and improving its historic fabric. Previous projects delivered by the studio include a new joinery workshop beneath an existing gallery in the landmark.
The Prince of Wales’ latest pronouncement comes 25 years after he described ABK’s proposed extension to the National Gallery as ‘a monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend’. The famous speech kickstarted a style war between moder
Source: Image by Richard George