Harley Foundation Nottinghamshire, Welbeck Estate Building, Architect, HBA News, Development

Harley Foundation Art Gallery, Nottinghamshire : Welbeck Estate

Harley Foundation, central England design by Hugh Broughton Architects, UK

1 Mar 2012

Harley Gallery Nottinghamshire

New art gallery for the Harley Foundation

Hugh Broughton Architects

Location: Harley Gallery Welbeck, Worksop, Nottinghamshire


Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) is pleased to announce that Hugh Broughton Architects (HBA) has won the invited competition to design a new art gallery for the Harley Foundation on the Welbeck Estate in Nottinghamshire.

Harley Foundation Art Gallery
image from Malcolm Reading Consultants

HBA narrowly beat Caruso St John Architects. Six practices were shortlisted in the closely-run contest for the £5 million scheme; the others were Dow Jones Architects, Gianni Botsford Architects, Haworth Tompkins Architects and Tony Fretton Architects.

The new gallery, which will sit alongside the existing Harley Gallery, will house the Portland Collection, an outstanding range of fine paintings and decorative arts assembled by Welbeck’s former owners, generations of the Cavendish and Bentinck families.

MRC is acting as architectural adviser and competition organiser. Malcolm Reading commented, ‘The opportunity to design a new gallery on one of England’s great estates for a collection of national importance comes up very rarely.

‘We selected a list of exceptionally talented architects who offered the client a fascinating array of different design approaches and solutions.

‘The winning concept draws from the eclectic surroundings, bringing a sense of order and connectivity. HBA understood the operational issues of linking the new gallery with the existing Harley Gallery which will offer flexibility in use. The key to their approach is a fascination with materials and texture that is very appealing in the context of the existing site and architecture.’

The Director of the Harley Foundation, Lisa Gee commented,
‘The prospect of a new gallery for Harley is incredibly exciting and offers us a great opportunity to show this previously hidden art collection to visitors. The competition showed us six very different solutions to the brief that we set and we greatly look forward to the journey ahead.’

The site on the Welbeck Estate encompasses the Tan Gallop, a covered equestrian exercise area, a quarter of a mile long. It adjoins the existing Harley Gallery Courtyard, on the site of the Victorian gasworks for the Estate, which already houses the Harley café and Welbeck Farm Shop. The new building presents an opportunity to knit this collection of buildings together.

HBA is an award-winning practice with a strong reputation for well-considered contemporary design. It came to international attention when − in association with AECOM − it won the design competition for the design of the Halley VI Antarctic Research Station.

MRC was appointed by the Harley Foundation to develop a strategy to establish a brief and select an architect. It conducted a study to identify a suitable site within the broader estate masterplan, taking into account future growth.

HBA will now go on to work with the Foundation to develop the initial design, while MRC will continue advising on the project.

Welbeck estate road, and Robin Hood Way, part of the national trail network, taken on 14 April 2008:
Welbeck estate road - site for Harley Foundation Art Gallery
photo : John Poyser / Welbeck estate road

Harley Foundation Gallery – Background

The Harley Foundation is an independent charitable trust set up by the last Duchess of Portland in 1977. It seeks to improve public access to the visual arts and crafts and to facilitate the working practices of artists and craftspeople. The Harley Gallery is located on the Welbeck Estate which extends to some 15000 acres and straddles the borders of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. It lies within the area of North Nottinghamshire known as the Dukeries.

Welbeck is still a working estate and contains a Grade 2 registered historic park designed in 1748 by Francis Richardson; ancient woodlands and forestry; a beautiful chain of lakes; farmland and grazing; a deer park; and some of the country’s most important rural heritage buildings. At its heart lies the historic Welbeck Abbey and Welbeck Village.

Welbeck has constantly evolved over the centuries – from a Premonstratensian Abbey to a Cavalier residence in the 17th century; from English Gothic to the New Works of the nineteenth century with their mysterious labyrinth of tunnels.


Malcolm Reading Consultants provides pre-project services, briefing and strategic advice on capital projects in the UK and worldwide.

Our team specialises in the arts, culture, heritage and public realm, helping our clients achieve world-class design for their buildings through selecting, briefing and managing teams. We are the leading independent organiser of international architectural competitions based in the UK. MRC’s competitions attract award-winning, established practices as well as young and emerging designers.

Current and recent clients include: Westminster Abbey, Exeter College, Oxford, The Royal Opera House, The UK Supreme Court, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and The Victoria and Albert Museum, amongst others.

Harley Gallery Welbeck image / information from Malcolm Reading Consultants

Address: Harley Gallery, Welbeck, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S80 3LW

Contact the Harley Gallery: phone 01909 501 700

Hugh Broughton Architects

Location: Harley Gallery, Welbeck, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S80 3LW, UK

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