V & A East

A concept photograph of the second floor of the V and A east building. A couple talk in front of a large floor to ceiling window as a family gaze outside to look at a boat pass by on a canal below. West Ham United stadium is seen in the background.

Image © O’Donnell + Tuomey / Ninety90, 2018.

The Victoria and Albert Museum, more commonly known as the V&A is the world’s largest museum of applied arts, decorative arts and design. Founded in 1852, it is expanding to two new sites at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park opening in 2025. V&A East Storehouse will provide a new immersive experience taking visitors behind the scenes of art collections and restorations.

V&A East Storehouse is a 16,000m2 purpose-built home for over 250,000 objects, 350,000 library books and 1,000 archives. Offering an entirely new museum experience, V&A East Storehouse will take visitors on a journey across time, through self-guided tours and changing displays. The Storehouse’s programme will explore why objects are collected, and how they are cared for, conserved and displayed and will reveal the latest research emerging from the collections. Further spaces within the centre will host pop-up displays, workshops, performances and screenings alongside live encounters with the museum’s work – from conservation and research to exhibition preparation. This new model builds on the continued success of The Clothworkers’ Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion, which will be relocated to the new centre from Blythe House in west London.

The V&A East Museum will celebrate global creativity over five floors spanning 7,000 sqm that will house major exhibitions, festivals, commissions, and live performances. Both sites are part of the legacy of the 2012 London Olympics and be the cornerstone of the new arts, innovation, and education hub.

Direct Access were the Access Consultants developing the Accessibility Strategy for both sites that focus on displays, interpretation, and wayfinding. This includes prioritisation over what is delivered based on budgets and resources to enhance the visitor experience for audience members with various access needs. This included specifying:

· Changing places facilities

· Accessible toilets

· Step free access

· Quiet spaces and quite periods

· Hearing enhancement systems

· Subtitles / captions and sign language on films

· Audio description

· Additional support for learning and engagement program participants with additional needs.

A proof of concept photo of the internal research centre at V and A East- A three floor section with pathways around the sides that lead to various open plan rooms with museum artefacts and exhibits. People explore and examine the artwork on display on all three floors.

Image © Diller Scofidio + Renfro, 2018.

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