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Visit to The Portland Collection

A purpose-built gallery for the Bentinck Collection.
RIBA East  Midlands  Building of the Year Award 2016.
Hugh Broughton Architects.
The brief called for ‘a new gallery to exhibit fine and decorative arts and to complement the historic interiors in the state rooms of the main house’
Broughton Architects were selected following a design competition. 
We joined a large invited audience, and this was indeed a ‘celebratory evening’.
We were treated to a superb presentation of the project by Hugh Broughton.  He started by showing an aerial view of the complete site and then analysed the early conceptual ideas. 
These were then illustrated by a series of beautiful sketches defining alternative approaches to the gallery layouts, daylight and artificial lighting, heating and ventilation systems.
The New Building:
Fundamental to the design is the creation of a common entrance for all visitors, highly glazed and subtly lit, which creates an atmosphere of anticipation.  The main elevations are in hand-made Danish brick which has ‘varied textures’.  The bricks contrast with the original stone walls and their colour and texture complements them.
‘Protruding barrel-vaulted zinc roofs produce a dynamic roof line’.
The galleries are linked in a subtle open-plan arrangement, and walking through, there is a pervading sense of calm.
They contain a very eclectic mix of paintings, silverware, furniture and an exceptionally rare collection of Elizabethan miniatures including four by Nicolas Hilliard.  Magnifying glasses were linked to these displays.
Overall, when we finally left the building, we all realised how architectural design of this quality can bring great visual delight and enhance one’s mood.
Broughton Architects are in the top ten practices in the UK, and one can understand why.


The Portland is a superb building; well laid out and so functional inside; quite beautiful from the outside; immaculate spaces in and out; as are the spaces around. Really good architecture all round.
John and Alwyne


Another View The Portland Collection

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