National Gallery London – Building

National Gallery London, Sainsbury Wing, Architect, Image, Date, Extension, Design, Photo

National Gallery London : Architecture

Key Public Building in Trafalgar Square, England, UK – by William Wilkins architect

page updated 23 Jun 2014

National Gallery Building London

1832–38 (façade)
Architect: William Wilkins

1872-76 (Barry Rooms)
Architect: E. M. Barry

National Gallery London National Gallery Building London National Gallery London Building
photographs © Nick Weall

Address: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, UK

Phone: 020 7747 2885

Opening hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, check with operator

Nelson’s Column, looking south towards Whitehall
Nelson's Column
photograph © Nick Weall

This is an art museum on Trafalgar Square in central London. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. The Gallery is an exempt charity, and a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Its collection belongs to the public of the United Kingdom and entry to the main collection is free of charge. It is the fifth most visited art museum in the world, after the Musée du Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum and Tate Modern.

National Gallery Building Public Building in Trafalgar Square
photos © Adrian Welch

The present building, the third to house the collection, was designed by architect William Wilkins from 1832–38. Only the façade onto Trafalgar Square remains essentially unchanged from this time, as the building has been expanded piecemeal throughout its history. Wilkins’s building was often criticised for its perceived aesthetic deficiencies and lack of space; the latter problem led to the establishment of the Tate Gallery for British art in 1897. The Sainsbury Wing, an extension to the west by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, is a notable example of Postmodernist architecture in Britain.
Soyurce: wikipedia

Trafalgar Square Building London Trafalgar Square Building Trafalgar Square London Building in Trafalgar Square London
photographs © Adrian Welch

National Gallery architect : William Wilkins

Sainsbury Wing – National Gallery Extension, Trafalgar Square
1988-91
Design: Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates – Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown

Sainsbury Wing National Gallery Trafalgar Square Building
photos © Adrian Welch

National Gallery Extension London National Gallery Extension London Sainsbury Wing London National Gallery Extension London
photographs © Nick Weall

National Gallery Extension design : Venturi Rauch Brown, architects

Trafalgar Square London Art Gallery Extension London Sainsbury Wing London Sainsbury Wing London
photographs © Nick Weall

The architectural proposal by ABK – for the building that came to be known as the Sainsbury Wing – was infamously described by Prince Charles [May 30, 1984] as being “a monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend”. This helped set up a polarisation in the UK between traditional and contemporary architecture styles and thinking.

National Gallery Extension London National Gallery Extension London National Gallery Extension London National Gallery Extension London
photographs © Nick Weall

ABK’s design for the extension was abandoned.

National Gallery Extension London Sainsbury Wing National Gallery Extension London Sainsbury Wing London
photographs © Nick Weall

Location:National Gallery, London, UK