Here’s a look at the V&A Museum’s new digs out at Stratford.
Given that we’ve waited 166 years for the Victoria & Albert Museum‘s encore, it was always going to have to be pretty impressive. Thankfully, the mock-ups for the sister site to the V&A Museum have been revealed, and it doesn’t disappoint. The V&A East, as it is known, has secured a spot right on the Stratford waterfront for their new museum, as well as a space at Here East for a collection and research centre. Although it’s slated to open in 2023, the latest sketches give a glimpse into the hugely impressive space.
The jazzy new opening is a five-storey museum overlooking Olympic Park, housing two galleries that show off the full extent of the V&A Museum’s collections. They’ll also welcome major exhibitions, and a rotating lineup of new commissions, collaborations, and limited-run installations. To that end, the V&A have launched a huge new partnership with the Washington-based Smithsonian Institution, to share their rather considerable reserves of knowledge. The two museums will collaborate on exhibitions focusing on science, art, and the humanities, beginning with a co-produced exhibition in 2023 to celebrate the grand opening.
Equally intriguing is the collection space out at Here East. Part storage space, part exhibition, the V&A say that it “will be like stepping into an immersive cabinet of curiosities”. You’ll be able to watch museum curators at work as they collect, catalogue, and research new items during behind-the-scenes visits. When it opens, the collection space will house some 250,000 objects.
The V&A Museum’s store of treasures will be put on display in the new space, with an ornate 15th-century ceiling from the Altamira Palace in Spain amongst the spectacles to be installed in the public hall. Pop-up displays, interactive workshops, and a viewing gallery which showcases the museum’s collection of theatre textiles are amongst the other delights to be found here. It will also host music and dance performances, presumably themed around what’s on display.
The 2023 opening date is subject to final planning approval, but the development is widely expected to join the BBC, Sadler’s Wells, and the London College of Fashion in making a new home in Stratford’s East Bank. When it does arrive, expect it to be a unique and innovative addition to the lineup of London museums.
Find out more from the V&A website.