The key to finding a solution was to propose 'the deal" which allows two national institutions to improve their galleries. The National Portrait Gallery will make the upper floors of its East Wing available to the National Gallery and in exchange they will be able to construct a new wing in an un-used back yard space between the two galleries. This provides the National Gallery with a magnificent conclusion to its long gallery axis using the bow window which overlooks St Martins-in-the-Fields.

The new wing for the National Portrait Gallery will provide:

  • in the basement a 166-seat lecture theatre with direct access from St Martin's Place

  • at ground floor level an enlarged entrance hall and information area and adjacent to it a new shop

  • improved circulation to all floors of the gallery. An escalator will allow visitors quick and direct access to the second floor, the start of the collection.

  • at second floor level a new Tudor Gallery allowing the re-display of important works of art currently languishing on the stairs

  • at first floor a new gallery which would take the chronological display in to the late 20th century

  • at roof level a new public cafe with spectacular views to the south of the Westminster skyline from Trafalgar Square to Whitehall.
Facts and Figures
Winner in a limited competition - 1994
Building contract: 1997 - 2000

Architectural Journal 19 March 1986