This morning, the American Institute of Architects announced that the Sainsbury Wing at the National Gallery in London, designed by Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates (VSBA) is the recipient of the 2019 AIA Twenty-Five Year Award. The Sainsbury Wing opened in 1991 after VSBA won the second of two architectural competitions to design a new wing on the site to house the institution's renaissance artworks. It was Grade 1 listed in 2018.
In ARCHITECT's coverage of Denise Scott Brown, Hon. FAIA, and the late Robert Venturi's 2016 AIA Gold Medal, Charles Holland, founder of Charles Holland Architects and formerly of Ordinary Architecture and FAT, said that the Sainsbury Wing is "only now really being seriously reappraised for its generous relationship to Trafalgar Square—Scott Brown describes it as part of the backdrop to events—the subtle radicalism of its façades, and the wit of its planning. I see it as a love letter to London, with its nods to Lutyens and Soane and the clubland classicism of Pall Mall."
The Twenty-Five Year Award is "conferred on a building that has stood the test of time for 25-35 years and continues to set standards of excellence for its architectural design and significance," according to the AIA. Recent winners of the award include the Pei Cobb Freed's design for The Grand Louvre—Phase 1, in Paris (2017); EHDD's design for the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, Calif. (2016); and the Broadgate Exchange House in London, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (2015). The AIA did not confer a Twenty-Five Year Award in 2018.
This year's jury comprised chair Jeanne Chen, AIA, of Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners; Rania Alomar, AIA, of RA-DA; Alicia Berg of the University of Chicago; Raymond M. Bowman, Assoc. AIA; Katherine K. Chia, FAIA, of Desai Chia Architecture; Shannon R. Christensen, AIA, of CTA Architects Engineers; Eugene C. Dunwody Jr., AIA, of Dunwody/ Beeland Architects; Henry Moss, AIA, of Bruner/Cott & Associates; and David Rosa-Rivera of the Savannah College of Art and Design.
To read more about the selection of the Sainsbury Wing for this year's Twenty-Five Year Award, visit aia.org.
Read more about the Sainsbury Wing in ARCHITECT's Project Gallery.
Note: The above video was produced by the National Gallery for the 20th anniversary of the building's opening and details the two design competitions. It also, however, credits the design entirely to Robert Venturi, and not to Denise Scott Brown or VSBA.