Westminster City Council has approved plans by Purcell for an infill extension at the Grade I-listed National Gallery.

The Accomodation Hub scheme involves creating additional space in the east ground floor of the main building to relocate 250 members of staff currently based at the neighbouring St Vincent House or on the ground floor and basement of the Wilkins Building.

Freeing up floorspace in St Vincent House and the Wilkins Building will lay the groundwork for the possible expansion and development of gallery operations for wider public benefit.

The Accommodation Hub will revolutionise the gallery’s workplaces by bringing functions together into new state-of-the-art facilities in the heart of the building. This will provide new opportunities for collaboration and developing new working practices, benefiting staff and reinforcing the status of the National Gallery as a world-class institution.

David Hills, Partner

The proposals include removing partitions, subdivisions and lowered ceilings throughout the central ground floor area and installing an open plan office space with high ceilings.

Two covered atria will be created in the Sunley and Belvedere lightwells, and new floors will be inserted in the Sunley lightwell to provide office space. The basement areas will be overhauled to provide storage and meeting space.

In March, the practice completed Gallery B, which provided an additional 200m² exhibition space at the National Gallery and was the first major extension since the Sainsbury Wing in 1991.