V & A's new Exhibition Road Quarter & Reveal Festival

Posted on July 6, 2017 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

V & A


On the last day of V & A's Reveal Festival, I visited the museum hoping to see some performances, yet I saw a transformed new quarter which took me by surprise.

The £54.5 million project was designed by Stirling Prize-winning British architect Amanda Levete and her firm AL_A, providing an extra 6,400 square metres of space for the museum. Her firm's design was chosen to replace star architect Daniel Libeskind's £100m winning proposal 'Spiral' – a conspicuous design that looks completely out of place (like his usual designs) with its surroundings. After an eight-year battle for approval and funding, the project was rejected and the Levete's project was announced in 2012.


V & A

V & A  V & A


I think this twist of fate turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the museum. Not only the new quarter costed about £46 million less than the Libeskind’s original proposal, it also highlights the historic Aston Webb Screen which had been restored and resembled at the entrance of the new courtyard. 11,000 handmade white porcelain tiles inscribed with graphic lines and faceted geometries were laid on the ground of the courtyard, accompanied by a Zaha Hadid-style structure, which houses a cafe. I am not entirely convinced about the porcelain tiles as I can see how dirty they can get in winter/ during the rainy months. The idea is an interesting one but not exactly practical.


V & A Sainsbury Gallery  V & A Sainsbury Gallery

V & A Sainsbury Gallery

V & A Sainsbury Gallery

V & A Sainsbury Gallery


I was, however, more impressed by the 1,100 square metre column-free Sainsbury Gallery built underneath the courtyard. During my visit, the gallery's first commission 'Shade' (part of the Reveal Festival) was installed by artist Simon Heijdens. Choreographed by the wind passing outside, Shade is a cellular glass that filtered natural sunlight into a play of light and shadow, filling the interior gallery space with a pattern of light driven by the wind and the sun.



Julie Cunningham & Company

Another event that took place at the festival was Julie Cunningham & Company’s new site-specific dance performance inspired by Yoko Ono’s ‘Dance Pieces’. Audience followed four dancers as they moved through spaces inside the Museum and performed among art, sculptures and architecture.

This post was posted in London, Architecture, Dance, Art, Contemporary and was tagged with London, dance, contemporary art, contemporary architecture, V & A Msueum