On 15 June the National Gallery of Ireland reopened after six years of being partially closed for remodelling, celebrating with a special Vermeer exhibition featuring 10 paintings by the Dutch master (the largest selection of his work ever exhibited at one time).
Spearheaded by Dublin-based architecture firm heneghan peng architects (hparc)
, the renovations are being celebrated for “humanising” the historic galleries. Changes included opening up long-closed windows and transferring mechanicals into a new, underground facility beneath the courtyard. Visitors will now enjoy increased daylight, a comfortable, controlled climate, and an easier-to-navigate, chronological display of the collection.
hparc was co-founded in 1999 by Irish native Róisín Heneghan. In 2002, the firm made news when it won a contest to design the Grand Egyptian Museum. Despite having only three employees at the time, hparc beat out 1,556 other entrants to win the job. That museum is scheduled to open in 2018. Meanwhile, in addition to the NGI remodel, hparc has several other international jobs underway.
Worthy of special attention are two projects in particular: their design for the forthcoming Canadian Canoe Museum in Ontario is a masterpiece of contemporary biomorphic architecture; and their design for the National Centre for Contemporary Arts in Moscow is positively transformative, bringing a former airfield sublimely into the future.
Image caption: Image courtesy of © National Gallery of Ireland.