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Chipperfield and Fretton on impressive V&A extension shortlist

The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) has unveiled an exciting 10-strong shortlist for a new £28 million underground addition to its West London home in Exhibition Road

The museum has invited Stirling Prize-winner David Chipperfield, Tony Fretton Architects, Sutherland Hussey, Japanese stars SANAA, Jamie Fobert, Heneghan Peng, Norwegians Snøhetta, Amanda Levete, OMA and Francisco Mangado to draw up concept designs for the 1,500m2 scheme.

Designs by the 10 commissioned practices will be shown to the public at an exhibition in the V&A starting on 21 July to coincide with Architecture Week.

Concepts for the extension will focus on Boilerhouse Yard, the V&A’s last remaining site at South Kensington, and will respond to Kensington and Chelsea’s scheme to re-design the layout of Exhibition Road.

V&A director Mark Jones said the designers were asked to create an ‘informal and permeable relationship between the museum and the newly landscaped exhibition road.’

A previous contest-winning scheme (1996) for a more ambitious £80 million structure designed by Studio Daniel Libeskind was dropped in 2004 when the Heritage Lottery Fund refused to grant £15 million towards the project.

Following on from a feasibility study by Arup which has formed part of the concept design brief, the new sub-terranean project could potentially be underway by 2012.

The AJ broke the news of the revised extension hopes last October (see below).

Previous story (8 October 2009)

New contest revives V&A extension hopes

An extension at West London’s Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) is on the cards once again, with plans emerging for a new sub-terranean addition linked to the museum on Exhibition Road

Unlike the first open design competition, which was won by Studio Daniel Libeskind in 1996, a new process will see a handful of architects invited to draw up plans for a smaller underground, temporary exhibition space. A 10-strong longlist is expected to be announced in December.

The building, which will sit alongside the Sackler Galleries, would occupy the same site as Libeskind’s ill-fated Spiral (above) and construction on the scheme could potentially be underway by 2012.

A V&A spokesperson told the AJ: ‘Arup were commissioned to carry out a feasibility study on the engineering of the building as we wanted to know whether it was possible, in engineering terms, to achieve close to 1500m2 of reasonably uninterrupted space on the Exhibition Road site. The findings will form part of a concept design brief.’

The previous extension project was mothballed in 2004 when Heritage Lottery refused a £15 million grant toward the £80 million structure.

Meanwhile, work continues on the proposed £43 million V&A outpost in Dundee.

A spokesman said: ‘We are in the process of forming a company to take the project forward with the V&A. This will include representatives from University of Dundee, the city council, Scottish Enterprise and the University of Abertay. Once the company is set up we will look at fundraising, agreeing the site and launching the design competition.’

Readers' comments (5)

  • The V&A must be breathing a sigh of relief after not proceeding with Libeskind's design. His Denver museum failed to draw crowds (arguably it repulsed them), and The Washington Post declared Libeskind's design for Toronto's ROM was "The worst Building of the Decade". - Let's hope the V&A proceed with a professional architect rather than an unskilled and pretentious one this time around.

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  • Where has the AJ's editor gone ? Why hasnt the AJ announced its got rid of its editor ??

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  • This project will be impossible to build - the previous scheme was a national cultural embarassment.

    t's impossible to tell the sun to leave the sky,
    It's just impossible.
    It's impossible to ask a baby not to cry,
    It's just impossible.
    Can I hold you closer to me
    And not feel you going through me,
    But the second that I never think of you?
    Oh, how impossible.

    Can the ocean keep from rushing to the shore?
    It's just impossible.
    If I had you could I ever ask for more?
    It's just impossible.
    And tomorrow, should you ask me for the world
    Somehow I'd get it, I would sell my very soul
    And not regret it for to live without your love
    Is just impossible

    Can the ocean keep from rushing to the shore?
    It's just impossible.
    If I had you could I ever ask for more?
    It's just impossible.
    And tomorrow, should you ask me for the world
    Somehow I'd get it, I would sell my very soul
    And not regret it for to live without your love
    Is just impossible
    Oh impossible,
    Impossible.
    Impossible

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  • And the award for the most pretentious comment on AJ goes to...

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  • i don't about you's but I've had enough of the AJ.. im off to the read the beano and have a happy uplifting life

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