V&A East Collection and Research Centre

V&A
EAST
COLLECTION
AND
RESEARCH
CENTRE

Located at Here East in London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the V&A East Collection and Research Centre will reinvent the idea of museum archives and storage. With a design led by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (and supported by Austin-Smith:Lord), the Collection and Research Centre will bring treasures out of storage and into public view for the first time in generations.

The centre will be a purpose-built home for 250,000 objects, 350,000 books and 1,000 archives from the V&A’s collection of fashion, textiles, furniture, theater and performance, metalwork, ceramics, glass, sculpture, architecture, paintings and product design. Visitors will be invited on a behind-the-scenes journey that uncovers and demonstrates how and why objects are collected, how they are cared for, conserved and researched and how they help make sense of our past, present and future as part of exhibitions and public programmes.

A central public collection hall will turn the storage inside out. A rich array of objects will be on display for visitors to explore – from some of the smallest curiosities in the collection to the largest and most significant rooms and building fragments. Highlights will include Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1930s office for Edgar J Kaufmann Jr. – a unique and complete 20th-century plywood interior – and a 15th-century marquetry ceiling from the now destroyed Altamira Palace near Toledo, Spain, which will be resurrected within the centre as a real architectural element above a new public space for displays and events.

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 located at Blythe House in West London where the V&A’s collection is currently stored.

A dedicated viewing gallery will be created to showcase a changing display of rarely-seen large rolled objects from the V&A’s extraordinary collection of theater stage cloths, carpets, textiles, tapestries and paintings, including a 15-meter-wide theatrical backcloth designed by Natalia Goncharova for the 1926 Ballets Russes London production of Stravinsky’s Firebird.

The V&A Collection and Research Centre will open in 2023 as part of East Bank, a new powerhouse of culture, education, innovation and growth taking shape in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as part of the London 2012 Olympic legacy.

  • Performance view in the V&A collection and research centre at Here East
    Performance view in the V&A collection and research centre at Here East
  • Altamira Palace ceiling installed in the V&A collection and research center at Here East
    Altamira Palace ceiling installed in the V&A collection and research center at Here East
  • Flexible display space in the V&A collection and research centre at Here East
    Flexible display space in the V&A collection and research centre at Here East
  • 'The Firebird' in the V&A collection and research centre at Here East
    'The Firebird' in the V&A collection and research centre at Here East
Project information
ClientThe Victoria and Albert MuseumSize (GSF)161459
Location         Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, United Kingdom
Milestones
competition2018completed2023
Credits
PartnersElizabeth Diller,Ricardo Scofidio,Benjamin Gilmartin,and Charles Renfro
Core TeamDavid Allin,Kevin Baker,Mark Gettys,and Bo Liu
Competition TeamMerica May Jensen,Jack Solomon,Bryce Suite,Swarnabh Ghosh,Kumar Atre,Jedidiah Lau,Andreas Kostopoulos,Benjamin Vanmuysen,Eric Hsu,and Yushiro Okamoto
External credits
Austin-Smith:LordExecutive Architect
Arup UKEngineering (Structures and Services)
OrsaPrincipal Design Advisers
Gardiner & TheobaldCost Consultant
ArteliaProject Manager
Studio GardereExhibition Consultant (Competition Phase)
    Photography by ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London, Diller Scofidio + Renfro