Francine Stock, Chairman of the Gulbenkian judges, who made the winning announcement at a ceremony on 24th May at the Royal Institute of British Architects, said,
“Each of the four short-listed museums and galleries was vivid and exciting; our decision came only after impassioned, sometimes agonised, debate. We’re delighted finally to award this Prize to a jewel of a gallery. The brilliance of Pallant House Gallery lies not only in its thoughtful and intelligent curation but in the warmth and welcome of the building. There’s nothing elitist about the way this fine collection is displayed – intimate yet with space for reflection and tranquillity.”
Reporting reactions to their win, Stefan van Raay, Director of Pallant House Gallery, said,
“It is an incredible surprise that we won and until the announcement, we did not have a clue at all. It is absolutely fabulous to have won the prize because the other three finalists are all hugely successful projects. The effect of the prize is immediately noticeable, a very excited response by Friends, staff, volunteers and more visitors through the door since the announcement.
The prize is a reward to the hard work and dedication of everybody who has been involved in the project, but particularly, we dedicate it to the memory of Sandy Wilson, with his wife MJ Long, the architect of the new extension and the donor of the Wilson gift of 20th century British art, who died ten days ago, just after the judges made their decision.“