The addition of the Queen’s Gallery is the largest building intervention at Buckingham Palace since the great ballroom was built for Queen Victoria in the 1830’s.
The Palace is one of London’s most prominent landmarks and is a building which is central to Britain’s national identity and a focal point for tourism.
The new Queen’s Gallery was built to mark the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in 2002. The new gallery does not merely replace the former gallery built in 1962, but is an entirely new development, providing almost four times as much gallery space as before in a new complex of rooms. This establishes a major new centre for the visual arts in the heart of London which is provided with the most up-to-date museological services for the conservation and display of works of art of all kinds.
The project involved the construction of a new building between the Great Ballroom by Pennethorne and the police building on Buckingham Palace Road. This required the total rebuilding and refurbishment of the main Palace kitchens and assosiated service areas, which cater for 400 meals a day as well as for state banquets. The new gallery involved a series of exhibition spaces for paintings, sculpture, furniture, porcelain, prints, drawings, jewellery and other works of art. The new building also includes a lecture theatre, education rooms, an e-gallery and a shop. A new Palace Chapel was also built as part of this development.
The new building has been built in Portland and Bath stone and provides a new entrance Portico to the Palace off Buckingham Palace Road. It has been designed within the same tradition as the historic building, thus maintaining the continuity and tradition of the Palace.
The building was opened by H M Queen Elizabeth II in May 2002.