Smithsonian to collaborate with V&A for Stratford site

The Smithsonian and the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) will collaborate on V&A East, a new museum and a collection and research center in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The museum will feature exhibitions and programming jointly developed by the Smithsonian and the V&A, the first time the Smithsonian has committed to a long-term permanent gallery in another country.

David Skorton, Secretary of the Smithsonian, said: “Our collaboration with the V&A is an important milestone for the Smithsonian. By bringing together the world’s largest museum, education and research complex and the world’s largest museum of art, design and performance, we believe we can unite the arts and sciences to tackle some of the most pressing issues of our day. Such a collaboration will create a new type of museum experience for east London and allow us to engage with new audiences in one of the most diverse and dynamic cities in the world.”

The V&A has unveiled plans to create the V&A East with two interconnected sites in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

V&A will create a brand-new museum at Stratford Waterfront, and a new collection and research centre at Here East.

The new centres will open in 2023 as part of East Bank, the £1.1bn powerhouse of culture, education, innovation and growth currently coming together as part of the Olympic legacy.

V&A East will provide a 360-degree view of the V&A. Here East, the new collection and research centre, will reinvent the idea of a museum store by inviting visitors on behind-the-scenes tours that explain and tell the stories behind various objects.

The centre will be a purpose-built home for 250,000 objects and an additional 917 archives. It will be designed by New York-based practice Diller Scofidio + Renfro (supported by AustinSmith:Lord).