The V&A has revealed details of its V&A East project, which will see two new spaces open at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London in 2023.
The development includes a brand-new museum at Stratford Waterfront that will feature two galleries displaying objects from the V&A’s collections. It will also show a programme of major exhibitions, plus new commissions, installations and interdisciplinary collaborations and projects.
The space’s inaugural exhibition will be a co-production by the V&A and the Smithsonian, after which the latter will present one in four exhibitions at the museum.
Ten minutes walk away at Here East will be a purpose-built collection and research centre, housing 250,000 objects and an additional 917 archives including work from the V&A’s collection. This will include fashion, textiles, furniture, theatre, performance, painting, sculpture, ceramics, glass, design, architecture, and digital work.
The centre will feature a number of intriguing spaces, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1930s office for Edgar J. Kaufmann, and a 15th-century marquetry ceiling from the now-destroyed Altamira Palace near Toledo, Spain.
Other spaces within the centre will host pop-up displays, workshops, performances and screenings, plus ‘live encounters’ with the museum’s work, such as conservation and exhibition preparation.
There will also be a viewing gallery showcasing a changing display of rarely-seen large rolled objects from the V&A’s collection of theatre stage cloths, carpets, textiles, tapestries and paintings. This will include a 15-metre-wide theatrical backcloth designed by Natalia Goncharova for the 1926 Ballets Russes London production of Stravinsky’s The Firebird.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “As London’s centre of gravity extends east, our plans for East Bank make sure that high-quality culture and education are right at the heart of the development and of our Olympic legacy. By bringing large parts of its vast programme to two new sites at East Bank, the V&A will open up access to the world’s greatest collection of art, design and performance.”
V&A deputy director and chief operating officer Tim Reeve added: “Whether in Stratford, South Kensington, Scotland or Shenzhen, we are continuing to open up the vast collection that the V&A holds on the nation’s behalf. We hope that V&A East becomes a place that sparks the imagination and provides creative opportunity for generations to come.”
For more information on V&A East visit: www.vam.ac.uk/eastproject
1. External render view of the new V&A museum at Stratford Waterfront, designed by O’Donnell + Tuomey. © O’Donnell + Tuomey / Ninety90, 2018
2. Internal render view of the new V&A museum at Stratford Waterfront, designed by O’Donnell + Tuomey. © O’Donnell + Tuomey / Ninety90, 2018
3. Internal render view of the new V&A collection and research centre at Here East, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Render shows how a marquetry ceiling from the now-destroyed Altamira Palace near Toledo, Spain, c.1490, will be installed as a real architectural element within the centre. © Diller Scofidio + Renfro, 2018
4. Internal render view showing a performance taking place in the central public collection hall in the new V&A collection and research centre at Here East, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. © Diller Scofidio + Renfro, 2018
5. Internal render view of gallery dedicated to the changing display of large rolled objects in the new V&A collection and research centre at Here East, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, 2018. Render shows Natalia Goncharova’s backcloth design for the Finale of ‘L’Oiseau de Feu’ (The Firebird), c.1926. © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London / Diller Scofidio + Renfro, 2018