A soft and roomy Twenty-first century artwork charm

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh is in the final stages of a ?18.6 million overhaul which will increase gallery space by around 60 percent and boost annual visitor numbers from 200,000 to 300,000.
Designed by Architect, Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, the gallery was first opened in 1889. Located on a hill overlooking Edinburgh, the building cut quite a swath with its grand, neo-gothic facades of red sandstone dwarfing the street below. But a hundred years on and the gallerys fortunes have changed considerably. Things became so bad that by the mid-1990s the gallery was on the brink of closure.
Something had to be done.
In 2009 renovation work began with the aim of the project to restore and reveal much of Andersons work within the building and to show many more works of art than were previously on display. The development of the gallery as a first-class visitor experience was also paramount to National Galleries of Scotland as the original gallery was a gift to the Scottish people.
In the original building, movement around galleries was very restricted so the project architects, Page/Park, decided to transform circulation routes and improve access. This has been achieved with the design of a bespoke 48-person capacity hydraulically powered glass lift running through the core of the gallery. Lerch Bates has worked with Page/Park since the early design conception to bring a lift that is not only functional in terms of moving people and artifacts but, as it has three sides and the roof completely made from glass, also provides the perfect viewpoint as it moves slowly through the gallery.

Learn more about Lifts and Escalators or Escalators

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