Exhibition Road Quarter, Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Date Built
Completed 2017
Exhibition Road, South Kensington
On June 29 of 2017, the Duchess of Cambridge officially opened the Victoria & Albert Museum's new courtyard entrance off Exhibition Road.  

This new feature, designed by Amanda Levete Architects, includes a restored and rebuilt Aston Webb Screen (see above) as a dramatic gateway to the porceline-tiled Sackler Courtyard. 

Within the courtyard is a new glass-fronted cafe within a structure that wraps itself around the Aston Webb Building.

On the other side of the courtyard is another metal and glass structure that could be described as a skylight for the huge Sainsbury Gallery beneath the courtyard. 

The gallery beneath is intended as a venue for temporary exhibitions.  The V&A describes it as, "... a new 1,100 square metre column-free space (that) will be one of the largest temporary exhibition spaces in the UK and allow the V&A to significantly improve the way it designs and presents its world class exhibition programme."

Once across the courtyard you enter into the V&A via the Blavatnik Gallery.

From here you have access to the Sainsbury Galley via two elegant staircases.

The staircase above is actually in the shop that is within the new café building.

The AL_A website says of the project that, "... The 6,360m² Exhibition Road scheme is an engineering feat with extraordinarily challenging structural works, all carried out while the Museum remained fully accessible to the public. The project and its gallery 18m below the surface necessitated piling 50m down within 1m of a Grade I Listed building and underpinning a wing of the V&A and its collection while the Museum was fully operational. .... AL_A’s project will unlock the potential to bring new audiences into the V&A, breaking down the separation between street and museum, and taking the V&A onto Exhibition Road and Exhibition Road into the V&A."