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
Architect: William Wilkins
1872-76 (Barry Rooms)
Architect: E. M. Barry
Address: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, UK
Phone: 020 7747 2885
Opening hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, check with operator
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.
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.
National Gallery architect : William Wilkins
Sainsbury Wing – National Gallery Extension, Trafalgar Square
Design: Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates – Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown
National Gallery Extension design : Venturi Rauch Brown, architects
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.
ABK’s design for the extension was abandoned.
To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.
National Portrait Gallery
photograph © AW
National Portrait Gallery
Building close by:
Tate Modern Building
Design: Herzog & de Meuron Architects
image © Adrian Welch
Prince Charles Lecture – RIBA, May 2009
National Gallery – RIBA Awards 2006: West London
Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea
Design: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
image © AdrTimothy Soar
Comments / photos for the National Gallery London Architecture – Sainsbury Wing page welcome
National Gallery London Photographs – page