Commercial spaces of the National Portrait Gallery

The winning team selected for the contract valued at £ 25,000 to £ 50,000 will design and deliver a pair of new retail spaces in the Grade I listed Trafalgar Square building, which is currently closed as it undergoes a refurbishment of £ 35.5 million.

The project, slated for completion in 2023, will create a new boutique in the museum’s former Victorian Porter Gallery and another smaller exhibition shop on the first floor. The main goals include providing a future-proof retail area and a “holistic and ambitious experience” for visitors.

According to the brief: “The gallery previously had a gift shop, bookstore and exhibition shop, none of which were on the main visitor routes inside and outside the gallery. The existing store layouts are largely outdated and do not match the rest of the galleries and we want to take this opportunity to deliver a more holistic experience with retail spaces as beautiful and immersive as the gallery spaces and extend the experience of a collection visit.

“In the renovated building there will be two new retail spaces and the existing showroom on the ground floor will remain in its current position. We want the project to be respectful of the environment in its use of materials, its approach to recycling and reuse and its longevity. The design must also respond to the space as an environment that staff find operationally simple and easy to maintain and adapt. ‘

The National Portrait Gallery was established in 1856 and moved to its current premises at St Martin’s Place near St Martin-in-the-Fields in 1896. Today the museum’s collection comprises around 12,400 portraits, including paintings , sculptures, miniatures, drawings, prints and photographs.

Jamie Fobert Architects and Purcell won a competition in 2018 for the £ 35.5million renovation of the National Portrait Gallery. The AJ understands that other practices vying for the post included David Adjaye, OMA, Farshid Moussavi, 6a, Caruso St John and Haworth Tompkins.

The Inspiring People: Transforming our National Portrait Gallery project represents the biggest improvement in the history of the building designed by Ewan Christian in 1896 and comes 20 years after the opening of Dixon Jones’ Ondaatje wing, increasing the space by 50% exposure.

Approved by Westminster City Council two years ago, the modernization project will increase the space of the public gallery by around 20%, with its east wing, which is part of the original building, reused as new Weston wing.

It also includes the creation of a “more welcoming and generous” entrance and square on the north facade of the gallery. Fobert’s design for the forecourt floor presents a contemporary interpretation of a fan motif that cuts through the gallery’s original mosaic floors.

The development also includes a complete reinterpretation of the gallery’s collection through 40 renovated spaces and a new learning center. The architects will work with engineers Max Fordham and Price & Myers, and Nissen Richards Studio who was appointed interpretive designer for the project in March.

Bids for the delivery of the new retail spaces will be evaluated at 80% on quality and 20% on cost. The deadline for submitting applications is April 29 at 5 p.m.

How to register

Consult the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Jim baker
National portrait gallery
2 Place Saint-Martin

Phone. : 02073122476
Email: [email protected]

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