Known and loved by millions, the National Gallery is one of the world’s greatest art galleries. Situated on London’s Trafalgar Square, it holds the UK’s collection of art in the Western European tradition.
The National Gallery will celebrate its bicentenary in 2024 with a series of high-profile initiatives known collectively as NG200. Among these, the NG200 Project will enable the Gallery to redefine its visitor experience – improving the ‘welcome’ the Gallery provides so that this lives up to the quality of its collection – considered by many the most perfect in the world.
In 2020, MRC was appointed to develop the project vision and design brief for this extraordinary initiative. The brief focused on the entrance spaces in the Grade I Listed Sainsbury Wing and also included the creation of a world-class Research Centre, and the reimagining of the relationship between the Gallery and the surrounding public realm.
MRC was then asked to manage the open two-stage selection process to find a remarkable design team, run under the Competitive Procedure with Negotiation in accordance with UK procurement regulations.
The first stage launched in February 2021, and resulted in entries from 55 international teams, with a strong showing from Pritzker Prize, Aga Khan Award, and RIBA Gold Medal recipients.
Five teams were to be shortlisted, but the response was so outstanding that the Gallery increased this to six. During the second stage, the six finalists undertook a period of project research, design analysis and critical thinking, before the distinguished selection panel chose Selldorf Architects as the winner.
Director of the National Gallery, Dr Gabriele Finaldi said:
We are delighted to appoint Selldorf Architects as the design-team partner for NG200. Throughout the selection process, Selldorf Architects demonstrated a real understanding of our ambitions as well as sensitivity to the heritage of our existing buildings.