The National Gallery
The most prominent street facade of the Trafalgar square is predominantly Neo-Classical. Its central figure, the grand entrance portico is topped with a dome meant to become the focal point of the square, but for some reason, the building has been given a low elevation and a flat appearance.
The architecture of the wing is scholarly, with developed hierarchy of entrances and domes. The most dominant, central portico is therefore largest and most articulated, with its composite order columns. The composition continues with considerably smaller side porticoes and as a third element, an enclosed jut, a reminiscence of entrance portico decorated with quadratic pilasters. Instead of the dome, the wings of the building are finished with lanterns.
The building is approached by a grand, balustered stairway and a plateau, improving the mislaid impression of importance of the building.
The rest of the complex is a maze of wings and extensions, additional galleries ranging from Neo-Classical A400 facade, renaissance revival on Charring Cross road, Brutalist cube on Orange Street to post-modern deconstruction of a classical facade of the Sainsbury wing by Robert Venturi. This wing is perhaps the most interesting of all the extensions, as Venturi had copied the elements of the original facade and erased them one by one as the new facade progressed away from the old building, creating one of the best examples of this style in London and breaking the gravitas of the scene.
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