Plans approved for V&A museum’s underground expansion in UK
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Plans approved for V&A museum’s underground expansion in UK

11 Jul 2012

Amanda Levete Architects (ALA) has received planning permission from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in the UK for the £41m Victoria and Albert (V&A) Exhibition Road project in west London.

V&A museum’s underground expansion in UK

Amanda Levete Architects (ALA) has received planning permission from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in the UK for the £41m Victoria and Albert (V&A) Exhibition Road project in west London.

The project will include a new 1,500m² underground gallery for the V&A’s exhibitions, a courtyard space and a new entrance from the recently landscaped Exhibition Road on the west side of the museum.

The underground gallery space will be accessible through a staircase built from the yard at ground level, with views of the museum’s historic facades.

David Adjaye, architect and a former V&A trustee, said: "ALA’s scheme considerately embraces the original Victorian architectural and decorative fabric of the museum while unlocking the Exhibition Road side of the V&A with an impressive and welcoming public space, with dramatic state-of-the-art underground galleries."

The project will also include an additional display space for the V&A’s existing collections, events space, a new cafe, and the insertion of a new entrance lobby through Exhibition Road.

Construction of the new underground exhibition space will enable the South Court galleries to be restored and reinstated.

ALA won the international competition to design the new extension in March 2011, beating out competition from Heneghan Peng, Snohetta and Jamie Fobert.

Property developer Lend Lease is serving as project manager for the scheme while construction firm Arup is acting as geological and civil engineering consultant.

The V&A said that it had already raised £25m of the budget for the project.

Construction work on site will start in 2013 with proposed completion by the end of 2015 and opening in 2016.


Image: The project will feature a new underground gallery, a courtyard space and a new entrance. Photo: Amanda Levete Architects.