V&A Museum granted permission for underground gallery


The Victoria and Albert Museum has announced that it has been granted planning permission for the Exhibition Road Building Project.


By David Wright

The Victoria and Albert Museum has announced that it has been granted planning permission from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) for the Exhibition Road Building Project.

The Exhibition Road Building Project – for which £25m has now been pledged out of a project budget of £41m – will create a new underground gallery for the V&A’s internationally renowned programme of temporary exhibitions, a magnificent courtyard space and a new entrance from Exhibition Road on the west side of the museum.

The scheme will also reveal the beautiful Victorian facades on the west side of the V&A’s Grade 1 listed buildings, which have been restored to their former glory but never before been seen by the public.

Amanda Levete Architects (AL_A) will be designing the project, who won the international competition to design the project in March 2011.

On winning the competition, Amanda Levete said: “This is a defining project for AL_A. We’re re-imagining the dialogue between the V&A and Exhibition Road and in doing so, creating a new public space in the cultural and learning heart of London.

 “It’s made particularly special by the V&A collections having inspired so much of our work.”

Enabling work will begin this autumn to divert services within the site and building work is planned to start in 2013 and complete by the end of 2015, opening to the public in 2016.

Paul Ruddock, Chairman of the V&A Board of Trustees, said: “The V&A produces the very best international design exhibitions and the existing exhibition courts, arranged over three separate rooms, are no longer fit for purpose.

“ AL_A’s proposal will create a wonderful new space that cleverly combines the elegance of the V&A’s Grade I listed buildings with contemporary design. They are a worthy winner.”

The project will allow the V&A to achieve the long term aims of the second phase of FuturePlan, the ambitious scheme through which the Museum is producing beautiful and modern new surroundings for its outstanding collections, while renovating much of the building to its original Victorian grandeur and improving visitor experience.

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