RIBA presidents say renovation will flip Sainsbury Wing into “airport lounge”

January 15, 2023 by No Comments

Eight former presidents of the Royal Institute of British Architects have objected to Selldorf Architects’ revamp of the Nationwide Gallery’s Sainsbury Wing, calling it “insensitive”.

Paul Hyett, Sunand Prasad, Ruth Reed, Angela Brady, Stephen Hodder, Jane Duncan, Ben Derbyshire and Alan Jones filed their objections within the public remark part of the Westminster planning portal on 22 October.

National Gallery extension
The unique design for the transform, which the previous presidents commented on, confirmed white partitions and wood-clad pillars

The previous Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) presidents acknowledged they’re in accord with the organisations Historic England, Historic Buildings and Locations and the Twentieth Century Society, which have additionally objected to the plans for the postmodern Sainsbury Wing extension designed by architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.

The transform of the extension can be executed by US studio Selldorf Architects and has been closely criticised.

Adjustments flip “a finely conceived house into an airport lounge”

The remark by the previous RIBA presidents states: “Selldorf Architects (NY) had been, we imagine, chosen by competitors to adapt the wing, however their proposed adjustments are to our minds insensitive and inappropriately adjustments a finely conceived house into an airport lounge.”

“Their plans contain making drastic and irreversible adjustments,” it added. “They’ve utilized to intestine the bottom and first (mezzanine) flooring to offer an espresso bar and cafeteria which is able to irreversibly alter the character of the constructing.”

“It feels as if the architect is making an attempt to jam a contemporary constructing into the center of the Sainsbury Wing and wholly change its character – the VSBA atmosphere can be misplaced, and the bottom and mezzanine flooring indifferent psychologically from the principle gallery flooring,” the remark stated.

Revised scheme “maybe much more ill-judged” 

As an alternative of going forward with the “ill-judged” undertaking, the previous RIBA presidents counsel the Nationwide Gallery revisits a masterplan by architect Ed Jones to improve the gallery’s foremost, central entrance.

The Nationwide Gallery is at the moment utilizing the Sainsbury Wing as its foremost entrance, regardless of the actual fact it was not designed to be.

A revised scheme for the extension filed by Selldorf Architects on 17 October “seem maybe much more ill-judged”, the previous presidents stated, including that they are going to add additional feedback on this in the event that they take into account it vital.

View of interior of Sainsbury Wing
Stone-clad pillars function within the revised proposals for the scheme, which the previous presidents described as “much more ill-judged”

In response to the remark, Selldorf Architects informed Dezeen:

“We proceed to understand the engagement on this course of. The Sainsbury Wing is a crucial constructing for a major public establishment, not simply within the UK however internationally. The Nationwide Gallery, our shopper, has taken years observing the difficulties guests have negotiating the bottom flooring of Sainsbury. And with over 30 years of accelerating numbers and variety of holiday makers these points have led them to this scope and undertaking.”

“Since our choice final summer season, the design crew, together with our companions at Purcell, Arup and Vogt, has been devoted to a rigorous and analytical course of leading to a design of substance to deal with the general public profit whereas fastidiously respecting and integrating present architectural material,” the studio added.

“We imagine within the success of the scheme to offer an important welcome for all individuals within the famous and Listed Venturi Scott Brown designed Sainsbury Wing.”

However the remark from the previous RIBA presidents argues that relatively than transform the Sainsbury Wing, the establishment ought to restore it to its authentic design.

“A fantastically designed sequence of areas and the imaginative detailing, corresponding to within the entrance flooring with its large columns and coffered ceiling, had been impressed; it could be prudent to revive this house as initially constructed, with the color scheme proposed by Venturi Scott Brown,” it acknowledged.

The renovation and transform of the Sainsbury Wing is a part of the NG200 undertaking, the Nationwide Gallery’s undertaking to mark its bicentenary in 2024.

The pictures are courtesy of the Nationwide Gallery.

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