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V&A collection and research centre awarded


The V&A has announced the appointment of McLaughlin & Harvey as the base build contractor for the revolutionary new collection and research centre in east London.

Part of the V&A East project, the collection and research centre is one of two new public V&A venues now under construction in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The centre will comprehensively represent the museum store as a visitor experience, transforming how the V&A’s extensive collection can be accessed and explored.

The new 16,000sqm purpose-built centre will become home to 250,000 objects, 350,000 books and over 1,000 archives spanning the breadth of the V&A’s collection from fashion, textiles and furniture to painting, sculpture, ceramics, glass, design, architecture and digital. The majority of these holdings will be relocated to the new centre from Blythe House, where a significant proportion of the V&A’s collections are currently stored, in the V&A’s biggest collection move since World War II.

Now commencing RIBA Stage 4, the designs for the centre by award-winning architecture practice Diller Scofidio + Renfro were first unveiled in November 2018.

Claire McKeown, V&A East Project Director, said: “V&A East is one of the most significant and ambitious developments in the V&A’s history. Our collection and research centre will be a global first, combining a unique visitor attraction with a working museum store that meets the complex and varied needs of the V&A’s diverse collection. It’s an unprecedented and challenging brief, and we were impressed with McLaughlin & Harvey’s ingenious response, particularly their sensitive approach to integrating our large-scale collection objects, architectural fragments and historic interiors into the build. I look forward to having them onboard to realise Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s revolutionary designs as we build an exciting new future in east London.”

Michael Kieran, Construction Director at McLaughlin & Harvey, commented: “McLaughlin & Harvey is delighted to have been appointed as main contractor for this iconic project by the V&A. We look forward to supporting the V&A in the development of this facility which will allow their unrivalled collections to be stored and explored. This project is part of the V&A’s expansion plans in east London and will take pride of place in our portfolio of work in the south east.”