Victoria & Albert: Exhibition RoadEdit profile
Strategically, two much needed extractions are required. At the urban scale, the courtyard provides a new entrance and activity space engaging Exhibition Road. At the exhibition masterplan scale, the temporary exhibition provides a critical missing void. The decision to extract the existing contents from the Boilerhouse Yard, exposes for the first time a hidden void; an urban courtyard defined by 4 uniquely different facades. The proposal retains the flexibility of this condition by operating on its last remaining surface, an occupiable sloped ground plane or visible horizon. A second decision to excavate a void below the courtyard, provides for the V&A the needed 'maneuvering room' to change & unlock spaces within the larger masterplan in addition to a new temporary exhibit space. A continuous catenary shaped concrete tensile shell that provides a column free exhibition space below in minimal depth, supports the amphitheatre domes which define activities above. 3 domes extend the domical roofscape of the existing V&A onto the surface of the courtyard, defining the individual rooms or events yet connected within an overall undulating landscape. The stone paving is derived from Fibonnaci patterning found in sunflowers to create the sense of depth in the domes, allowing the sloped plane to achieve full Accessibility & hence flexibility of the domical landscape. A spiral drum, stair & chandelier marks a new entrance into the V&A. The position it occupies remains the only resultant void left in a continuous courtyard facade. Strategically, the entrance acts as a hinge providing optimum connections to Education, Cafe, Galleries & Temporary Exhibition.
Description from the architects