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National Gallery’s ambitious new redevelopment plans unveiled

The National Gallery has revealed additional information about its redevelopment plans, which include the £25m upgrade under NG200.

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Last month, the National Gallery announced that it would reconfigure the Grade I listed Sainsbury Wing by 2024. The project, dubbed NG200, also includes a new research centre, which will likely be housed in the Wilkins Building.

The Art Newspaper reports that NG200 is expected to be followed by a project that would involve demolishing St Vincent House, a 1960s office block behind the Sainsbury Wing.

St Vincent House would be replaced with a new building, which would be linked by a bridge to the Sainsbury Wing and Wilkins Building.

It’s thought that the new building will offer additional space for the permanent collection and temporary exhibition galleries, as well as public facilities.

However, the replacement building would take approximately ten years to complete, as it would involve a design competition, planning approval, fundraising, demolition and building work.

St Vincent House demolition

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The National Gallery is completing the redevelopment in three phases. The £17m first phase is due to finish soon and consists of office space in an internal courtyard of the original building. It will provide offices for 250 staff, who will move from St Vincent House.

The second phase is NG200, which was announced in February. This will cost between £25m and £30m. The third and final phase would comprise demolishing St Vincent House.

The National Gallery is now seeking a design team to work with on NG200. Paul Gray, chief operating officer at the National Gallery, is leading the selection progress, with a decision expected in July 2021.

Dr Gabriele Finaldi, director of the National Gallery, said a “huge increase” in visitors means the attraction must “look again at the spaces we have, and in particular the ground floor entrances and amenities”.

More information about the National Gallery’s selection process, including the full brief, can be found here.

Images: The National Gallery

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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