National Gallery announces shortlist for NG200 design competition


8 April 2021

Asif Khan, Caruso St John, David Chipperfield, David Kohn, Selldorf Architects, and Witherford Watson Mann have been selected in the first stage of the National Gallery’s NG200 refurbishing competition.

London’s National Gallery is looking to redesign the foyer area of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown’s 1991 Sainsbury Wing, the gallery's main entrance since 2018.

“Although the 1991 Sainsbury Wing has more than satisfied its original brief, audiences have grown over the past 30 years and, during busy times and especially popular exhibitions, the Wing can become quickly congested, resulting in visitors queueing outside in all weathers,” reads the competition website. “Another problem is that the Wing lacks adequate orientation and information space to help visitors to wholly engage with the collection.”

The aim of the first stage of the competition has been to identify design teams – no design work has been put forward yet. A committee consisting of select trustees and members of the National Gallery’s executive team, alongside architecture critic Edwin Heathcote, structural engineer Jane Wernick, and Ben Bolgar, senior design director for the Prince’s Foundation, has selected the following teams:

• Asif Khan with AKT II, Atelier Ten, Bureau Veritas, Donald Insall Associates, Donald Hyslop, Gillespies, Joseph Henry, Kenya Hara, and Plan A Consultants.

• Caruso St John Architects with Arup, Alan Baxter, muf architecture/art and Alliance CDM.

• David Chipperfield Architects with Publica, Expedition, Atelier Ten, iM2 and Plan A Consultants.

• David Kohn Architects with Max Fordham, Price & Myers, Purcell and Todd Longstaffe‐Gowan.

• Selldorf Architects with Purcell, Vogt Landscape Architects, Arup and AEA Consulting.

• Witherford Watson Mann Architects with Price and Myers, Max Fordham, Grant Associates, Purcell and David Eagle Ltd.

National Gallery director Gabriele Finaldi said of the shortlisted teams: “We were impressed and delighted with the high quality of the submissions we received. It was not an easy task to reach the shortlist, but we are confident that we have chosen six teams that will produce a range of different approaches to excite and inspire us.”

An appointment is expected to be made in July 2021.

Disegno’s editors discussed the project in episode five of its podcast The Crit.