The High Line team let everyone into the V&A’s vault
Diller Scofidio + Renfro has entirely reinvented the museum store for the V&A's new London space
Up until now, almost all museums and galleries have separated the space where they store their collection from the places where they put it on display. However, that’s set to change when the Victoria & Albert Musuem opens up in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London.
The V&A East will have two sites: a new museum on the development’s waterfront, and a new collection and resarch centre, called Here East. Yet, Here East won’t simply hide its collection away in its vaults.
The US architectural practice Diller Scofidio + Renfro - which oversaw the High Line development alongside James Corner Field Operations – has plans for a new building that will reinvent the museum store, by bringing the public into this once private space.
“A central public collection hall will turn the storage inside out,” explain the architects. “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.”
The space, which is due to open in 2023, will also host pop-up displays, workshops, performances and screenings alongside live encounters with the museum’s work – from conservation and research to exhibition preparation. And, it will also house V&A’s collection, when it’s not on official display; though the difference between being packed away and fully on show may well be broken down, at this innovative new building.
For more on the V&A’s innovative architects take a look at this book on Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s work on the High Line. For an easy-access archive that sits right on your book shelf, get The Art Museum.