The V&A Exhibition Road design by Amanda Levete Architects in London, England strives to break down the boundary that exists between the V&A Museum and the street by taking the museum onto Exhibition Road and bringing Exhibition Road into the museum. It unlocks a the potential to bring new audiences into the museum by exposing it to passersby. Read on for more information on this project.
Visitors are drawn in from Exhibition Road by a large, light-filled public courtyard – South Kensington’s Drawing Room – where they will be introduced to the V&A. This space will exhibit major installations and events, as well as appropriation by the public. A cafe is located in a light-filled space within the courtyard. Amanda Levete Architects design places visitors at the centre of this experience and from here they will be able to see through to the heart of the Museum, to the Hintze galleries and the Madejski Gardens.
Entrance into the museum will unveil the juxtaposition of the old architecture to the Amanda Levete Architects intervention. This entrance is not just for the new gallery; it is for the entire V&A collection. The route to the gallery below is woven into the fabric of the museum and the visitor is drawn down by a pool of natural light that guides the way.
The expression of the gallery ceiling is a direct response to its function and the structural challenge of spanning 38 metres, and follows in the museological tradition of ornate neoclassic and neogothic ceilings. In this way, the new architecture and engineering capabilities are reflecting on the older architecture of the building.
This structural solution is repeated in the paving pattern of the courtyard – a subtle but readable expression of what is below. The pattern derives not just from the structure but also from the richness of the V&A collections, and continues the decorative and didactic tradition of the V&A buildings. It is a palpable reflection of the gallery space that is extended beyond the walls of the museum. Architect: Amanda Levete Architects Location: London, England Programme: Gallery for temporary exhibitions, public courtyard and new museum entrance Client: Victoria & Albert Museum Principal: Amanda Levete Project Director: Ho Yin Ng Project Associate: Alice Dietsch Project Team: Bruce Davison, Matthew Wilkinson, Alex Bulygin, Eoin O’Dwyer, David Reeves, YooJin Kim, Filippo Previtali, Stefano Bertotti Consultants: Engineering – Arup, Quantity Surveyor – Equals, Lighting – DHA Area: 7,585 m2 Project Cost: £35m