Thursday, May 21

V&A Develoment

Self Portrait XXXXIV
In January 2014, the V&A broke ground on a new entrance, courtyard and purpose-built subterranean gallery for temporary exhibitions facing the Exhibition Road across from the Sciences Museum. The budget for the project is £49 million with 80% raised by private donations so far. The naming of the entrance goes for a cool £5 million.

Recently I have joined the museum's Corporate Development Board, invited by Standing Chair of the Trustees, Nicholas Coleridge, who is also the President of Condé Nast. Our aim is to raise support for projects and exhibitions with a particular focus on the 30 and 40 year old jet set who may comprise the museum's future funding base, taking over from an older generation of donors.

We have a tour of the work site led by the project engineer who informs me the courtyard will slope slightly downward allowing for a grande entrance stairway; underneath two galleries and a coffee bar offering 1000s of feet of modern use space. Several massive beams 5 ft in diameter hold the ancient building up as the digging goes down. We learn that the "services" (electrics, piping and cables) took nine months to be removed and, as the original building dates to the 1840s, there was no master plan ("a bit of a mess" our guy tells us). 

The expected opening is for late 2016.