MONSTROUS CARBUNCLES?

It started over a decade ago, when Prince Charles accused a hapless architect of trying to build a "monstrous carbuncle" in his beloved Trafalgar Square. The National Gallery's extension turned into a farrago. Gallery renovations of all sorts became news.

At present, you can run round London's most interesting contemporary gallery extensions in an afternoon. But come the next century, it looks like the trip may take you more than a week.

HERE AND NOW

CLORE GALLERY, Tate Gallery, Millbank (James Stirling, 1985)

Toytown doorways and windows, gaudy railings, beigey pastelly walls: utterly Eighties, but an exceptionally solid Ur-Eighties, a building which makes you think through why you hate postmodernism, and then think again.

SAINSBURY WING, National Gallery (Robert Venturi, 1991)

In a 1966 manifesto, the American Venturi suggested that brave new architectural futures could be found by ironically reinterpreting the past. A quarter- century later, Prince Charles seemed satisfied with the vaguely Corinthian carbuncle he grafted onto Trafalgar Square. But really, it just looks like a new building posing as an old one.

SACKLER GALLERIES, Royal Academy (Norman Foster, 1991)

High Tech is too imprecise a term for this breathtaking glass-and-steel structure, which appears delicately to balance on the edge of an excavated 19th-century wall. You whiz up in a trendy lift to be suffused in soft- white light: like heaven, with Michaelangelo's Holy Family at the top.

DESIGNS ON THE FUTURE

TATE BANKSIDE: Trendy Swiss firm Herzog and De Meuron moves into Giles Gilbert Scott's old downriver power station in Southwark.

Money: pounds 106m, with pounds 50m in place from the Millennium Fund, pounds 12m from English Partnerships and pounds 1m from Southwark Council.

Deadline: Building has just started; aims to be finished by 2000.

ICA: Will Alsop is suggesting a curious bulbous object, to rest on in situ piers at Blackfriars.

Money: Around pounds 30m is mooted. Lottery bid will go in next year.

Deadline: "2001 would be poetic, and yes, I suppose it does look a bit like the bone from the film."

V&A BOILERHOUSE: Daniel Libeskind's deconstructivist heap of boxes has been upsetting a lot of people since May. The architect is currently working on the "thunderbolt" Jewish Museum in Berlin.

Money: Roughly pounds 42m.

Deadline: Around 2001, but planning permission may be a problem with an HRH-unfriendly design like this.

WALLACE COLLECTION: The inner courtyard is a haven of ornamental-garden oddness. Rick Mather Architects propose floating a glass floor over the top of it and sticking a cafe underneath.

Money: A quarter of the pounds 10m budget was pledged 10 days ago by an anonymous donor. A Lottery bid is in for the rest.

Deadline: 2000, to mark the Wallace Collection's centenary.

DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY: London's oldest public gallery, designed by John Soane in 1814. Rick Mather Architects propose a cafe and education block, plus a bronze-and-glass cloister-cum-pergola on the side.

Money: Probably around pounds 8m.

Deadline: Expected to start building in 1999.

SERPENTINE: John Miller's blueprint "walks within the footprint" of the 1930s building, sinking workshops into a new basement.

Money: pounds 3m from Lottery, pounds 1m raised elsewhere.

Deadline: Work should finish next year.

NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY: Jeremy Dixon and Edward Jones, of Royal Opera House fame, fill a dingy courtyard and add a rooftop cafe.

Money: pounds 14m to be funded by Lottery bid and 1896-1996 centenary appeal.

Deadline: Building starts in 1997, aimed for completion in January 2000. JT

Arts and Entertainment
Thomas carried Lady Edith over the flames in her bedroom in Downton Abbey series five

TV
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, seated next to a picture of his missing wife Amy, played by Rosamund Pike

film
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene

Friends 20th anniversary
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham

books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey

There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits