V&A staff celebrate as new wing opens on museum site

The V&A’s largest building project in more than 100 years is finally finished as the museum opened the doors to its new wing.

The museum, which has seen its popularity surge in recent years, is hoping to build on consecutive years of record breaking visitor numbers with the new addition – which was six years in the making.

A string of high profile exhibitions have helped deliver this. David Bowie, Alexander McQueen and Pink Floyd have all been the focus of successful shows at the museum.

Former MP Tristram Hunt, now director of the V&A, said: “This is a landmark moment in our history. The V&A Exhibition Road Quarter is both the Museum’s largest architectural intervention in over one hundred years and the start of a new chapter of expansion.”

The new wing is a £55 million project pioneered by architect Amanda Levete.

It sees sleek, modern design intertwined with the building’s pre-existing style.A new public courtyard, made using 11,000 handmade tiles, has also been opened up.

Stonework bearing damage sustained during World War II has also been incorporated into the design, with a pattern of perforations tracing the imprint of the shrapnel damage on the stonework.

As well as converting the courtyard, a new 1,100 square metre exhibition space, been called the Sainsbury Gallery, has now been opened.

The new development is the biggest alteration to the Grade I listed building since its construction.

Amanda Levete said: “The V&A Exhibition Road Quarter is a reflection of the pioneering identity of the V&A and continues its mission of innovation into the twenty-first century.

“The Quarter reimagines the museum as an urban project, creating an exceptional place for London that will redefine the V&A’s relationship with the street and the public.”

Related Articles