The National Gallery, London
- Part of Scala’s Art Spaces series
- Tells the story of London’s most visited public institution
Since it first opened its doors to the public in its new building in Trafalgar Square on 9 April 1838, The National Gallery has grown slowly and incrementally with occasional spurts of more ambitious reshaping. In September 2005, The National Gallery reopened the grand, triumphal portico that forms its main entrance from Trafalgar Square. For the first time in its history, it now bears the inscription THE NATIONAL GALLERY in gold. The portico leads up to a spacious new entrance vestibule and a completely refurbished staircase hall designed by Jeremy Dixon and Edward Jones, who proposed opening up the ground floor to public use. This is the latest stage in the quest to strike the right balance between maintaining the integrity of the existing building while at the same time opening up the surrounding space to more contemporary use. Written by eminent architecture critic and author, Kenneth Powell, this is an enthralling account of the controversial architectural history of a much-loved building.
Kenneth Powell is an architecture critic, journalist and writer. He has published widely, including books on Norman Foster, Richard Rogers and John McAslan. He was elected Honorary Fellow of the RIBA in 2000.