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The Portland Collection, Worksop

Skilful use of natural daylight and a hierarchy of spaces

Credit: Nick Hufton

Hugh Broughton Architects for The Harley Foundation

Contract value: £4.73m

GIA: 874 m²

Building of the Year sponsored by Marley Eternit

RIBA East Midlands Sustainability Award sponsored by SIKA

RIBA East Midlands Conservation Award sponsored by Nottingham Trent University


The Portland Collection of paintings, sculpture, books, tapestries and furniture is one of the finest in private hands in Britain. Now it can be seen by the general public for the first time, in a carefully crafted new building. Utilising a disused horse training yard, the building creates a subtle design that sits perfectly in the grounds of the grade 1 listed Welbeck Abbey. 

  • Credit: Nick Hufton
  • Credit: Nick Hufton
  • Credit: Nick Hufton
  • Credit: Nick Hufton

The scheme uses existing stone walls while new elevations are crisply detailed in contrasting yet complementary handmade Danish brick. Protruding barrel vaulted zinc roofs provide a dynamic roofline.

Internally, the entrance provides framed views into the courtyard and landscape beyond. The galleries skilfully use natural daylight and a hierarchy of spaces to show off the Portland Collection to its best advantage. It is exemplary in using sustainable energy sources to provide the exacting environmental requirements of a fine art gallery.

See the other winners of the RIBA Regional Awards 2016 – East Midlands


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