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A Day in the Life of a Project Manager…

July 8, 2009

Whilst at a Building Design Team meeting this morning, held in the old Antiquaries’ Library here – now rather dusty and drab without its fine furniture and with the last of the books being packed away as we speak – I think how well the room will look in its new role, open to all.   For in truth the library has been semi-derelict, and in desultory use as a lecture theatre, since the Society of Antiquaries moved out in 1998; and only really enjoyed by a few before that. 

The Antiquaries Library

The Antiquaries' Library

The Antiquities Library Decant

The Antiquaries' Library mid-decant









During the same meeting I reflect on the recent discovery that the ceiling structure was completely altered during its architect’s lifetime. A brave or even reckless decision, I imagine, in view of Sir Robert Rowand Anderson’s temperament and professional standing – and in 1914, which is on the face of it an odd date to be undertaking major gallery building works.  Happily the alterations will suit our new gallery plans very well.  The team is discussing the return of building tenders, a nervous time all round, but everyone is, as ever, admirably cool and rational.

Baden Powell House

Baden Powell House - temporary Portrait of the Nation HQ

This afternoon I will head off to inspect our temporary staff quarters in the Old Town.  This is a former Primitive Methodist chapel, latterly Scout hall (and still known as Baden Powell House).  It is in amidst this bracing heritage that Portrait of the Nation will be incubated by curators and educators over the next two years.

Much of my time is spent in the gap between these different worlds:  professional, academic, educational – and now, of course, commercial.  One day, in 2011, it will all look like a seamless project!

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