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London’s V&A unveils redesigned entrance on Cromwell Road

The design by British architecture firm Sam Jacob Studio was inspired by the museum’s collection.

V&A museum new entrance

London’s Victoria & Albert Museum has unveiled its new entrance on Cromwell Road, which adds modern elements to the existing Aston Webb-designed Grade I-listed building.

The project included the entrance lobby, information desk and new toilets. The design by British architecture firm Sam Jacob Studio was inspired by the museum’s collection.

“It has been a real honour to work with the V&A, and to add to the rich history of the museum,” said Sam Jacob.

“We have worked creatively to elevate some of the ordinary activities into moments of delight and imagination that we hope will enhance visitors’ experience and engagement with the museum.”

Design by Sam Jacob Studio

V&A museum new entrance

The new entrance lobby is formed by three bands of glass tubes, which are a nod to the V&A‘s glass collection.

The glass was used to transmit light and produce optical distortions that accentuate the movement of people as they enter the museum. The glass also captures and projects daylight into the V&A, illuminating the interior.

“The glazing for the entrance – especially the glass tubes – were a way to retain a sense of transparency at the entrance, but also to dramatise the way light is transmitted into the space,” Jacob told Dezeen.

The welcome desk features glass tubes backed by mirror panels. For the bathrooms, Sam Jacob Studio created terrazzo wall panels that used jasperware waste material from the Stoke-on-Trent factory that makes the V&A’s Wedgwood porcelain collection.

Inspired by museum’s collection

V&A museum new toilet design

The panels were made using 700kg of blue, pink, black and grey ceramic waste. The interior of each cubicle is tiled with a figure from the museum’s ceramic collection. These were digitally printed onto colourful tiles.

Earlier this year, the V&A East Museum announced the shortlist for its galleries design competition. The winner will be revealed in late summer 2022.

The new museum is due to open in 2024. It is part of V&A East, which includes the V&A East Storehouse. The collection and research centre is set to open in 2024 at Here East.

Images: V&A

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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