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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

V&A Exhibition Road in London, UK by AL_A Architect

May 6th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Exhibition Road is changing. AL_A’s project will unlock the potential to bring new audiences into the V&A, breaking down the separation between street and museum, and taking the V&A onto Exhibition Road and Exhibition Road into the V&A.

View of the courtyard at Night

  • Architects: AL_A Architect
  • Project: V&A Exhibition Road
  • Location: London, UK
  • Client: Victoria & Albert Museum
  • Programme: Gallery for temporary exhibitions, public courtyard and new museum entrance
  • Principal: Amanda Levete

Stairs to new gallery

  • Project Associate: Alice Dietsch
  • Area: 7,585 m2
  • Project Cost: £35m
  • Project Team: Ho Yin Ng, 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

New gallery space

Visitors will be drawn in from Exhibition Road by a large, light-filled public courtyard – South Kensington’s Drawing Room – where their experience of the V&A will begin. This will be a place for major installations, events and appropriation by the public. In the area of sun, there will be a fabulous café. AL_A’s 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.

On entering the museum visitors will be struck by the dramatic interplay between new and old. 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.

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.

This structural solution is also used to generate 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 – in this way we have made visible the invisible.

Contact AL_A Architect

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Category: Exhibition Center

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