Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery, London

Recommending withdrawal of planning application for the National Gallery’s plans for Grade I listed Sainsbury Wing

The location:

Designed by the postmodernist architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown and Associates in association with Sheppard Robson Architects, the Sainsbury Wing is considered one of the most important additions to the National Gallery in recent years. It houses a collection of Early Renaissance art. 

The Sainsbury Wing is the only work in Britain by Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, internationally important architects and theorists, generally considered the founders of post-Modernism.  It was Grade I listed in 2018. 

What we did:

Historic Buildings & Places submitted official comment on original and revised planning application for the for the external and internal alterations, including remodelling of external gates, replacement glazing and adaption of the loggia and internal lobby to the National Gallery’s Sainsbury Wing. 

While we welcomed some elements of the revised plan, we still had significant concern over the level of harm the proposed alterations would have on the significance and integrity of the Grade I listed Sainsbury Wing. 

Our recommendation was for the application to be withdrawn and we encouraged the National Gallery Trustees to explore a wider range of solutions that will better respect the buildings they have and broaden the visitor experience within the complex. Read our full comment here.  

In November 2022 Westminster City Council approved the planning application.  

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