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© National Gallery, London

The NG200 Project: Design Team Selection Process presented a rare opportunity: to work with the National Gallery to reimagine some of its key public spaces to improve the visitor experience, as well as create a new Research Centre, which is expected to communicate the Gallery’s work as a global thought-leader and support its growing research community. 

The Gallery was searching for an outstandingly gifted and committed architect-led, multi-disciplinary design team: a national or combined national and international team of the very highest calibre that would understand the historic setting and could deliver the first phase of the project to celebrate the Gallery’s Bicentenary – no later than May 2024.

Full details of the team requirements were listed in the competition documentation, but some headline attributes included: 

  • Ability to demonstrate extraordinary design talent and creative flair; 
  • Ability to demonstrate cultural and professional fit with the client organisation and the objectives of the project;
  • An exemplary track record of delivering projects of a similar significance and complexity;
  • Highly skilled in collaborative working, client engagement and communications and with experience of consultation with multiple statutory and community stakeholders.
  • Highly skilled in cultural place-making, with experience of delivering high-quality urban design in significant locations;
  • Ability to understand and acknowledge the importance of the heritage quality and significance of the site and its immediate context;
  • With evidence – through sustained public and professional recognition – of civic and cultural design leadership;
  • With knowledge of major gallery/​museum design and how this optimises public access;
  • Having expertise in sustainability – in design, construction and use; and
  • A strong design-management ethos and proven experience of delivering projects that meet the brief and are delivered on time and on budget.

At stage one of the process, applicant teams were requested to include (as a minimum) the following disciplines:

  • Architect (anticipated to act as the Lead Consultant)
  • Structural Engineer
  • MEP (Services) Engineer
  • Heritage Consultant
  • Landscape/​Public Realm Designer
  • Principal Designer (under the Construction and Design Management [CDM] Regulations 2015)

Internationally-based shortlisted design teams were required to propose a UK-based executive architect, who would provide local support, as part of their team at the start of stage two.