New Gallery Extension Proposed For V&A

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 94 months ago
New Gallery Extension Proposed For V&A
Jamie Fobert Architects
Jamie Fobert Architects
Sutherland Hussey
Sutherland Hussey
Amanda Levete
Amanda Levete
Francisco Mangado
Francisco Mangado
Office for Metropolitan Architecture; the firm is also masterplanning the Commonwealth Institute's transformation into the Design Museum
Office for Metropolitan Architecture; the firm is also masterplanning the Commonwealth Institute's transformation into the Design Museum
Snohetta's design study for the new V&A extension
Snohetta's design study for the new V&A extension
Daniel Libeskind's Spiral, approved in the 1990s but cancelled in 2004
Daniel Libeskind's Spiral, approved in the 1990s but cancelled in 2004

The Victorian & Albert museum is to launch a competition to design a new gallery on its eastern flank.

In the mid-1990s, the V&A museum ran a similar competition. The winner was Daniel Libeskind's Spiral, a provocative £80m deconstructed block that somehow won planning permission from Kensington & Chelsea council. It didn't, however, win favour from those holding the purse strings, and after a failed attempt to crib together some change from the lottery, it was squashed in September 2004.

Still, the Museum's old boilerhouse yard is ripe for expansion, and after running a series of "design studies" earlier this year (pictured above), the V&A has decided to press ahead with a new competition. Design director Moira Gemmill has spoken of creating a semi-public space, with a new piazza fronting onto Exhibition Road.

Will any of the designs submitted for the studies make it onto the shortlist? It's hard to imagine they won't, though the more outre efforts here are unlikely to be successful; the museum's experience with the Spiral suggests that the board of directors will tack this time toward the traditional.

Last Updated 15 July 2010