The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is recruiting a fit-out designer for a major £3.9 million overhaul of its Grade II*-listed Museum of Childhood in east London
The winner of the estimated £478,000 contract will assist the museum in an ambitious co-designed overhaul of the historic 1872 ironwork building which hosts thousands of childhood objects from the 16th century to the present day.
The interior design commission is part of wider redevelopment project to deliver three new permanent galleries, two flexible exhibition spaces, improved retail and catering areas, new back-of-house facilities, upgraded learning spaces and new toilets. An undisclosed design team was appointed to oversee the scheme’s ‘base build’ in February.
According to the brief: ‘Following appointment of a full base build design team in February 2018, we are now seeking proposals for lead design and master planning services for full fit out across the MoC. Meaningful co-design will be a critical element of the process. In order to facilitate this complex activity and embed design thinking meaningfully into the curatorial development, we are seeking to appoint a range of consultants in autumn 2018 to help us both refine our brief and take design through to completion.
‘This team will comprise architectural, lighting, graphics, M&E, structural and heritage services, although participation from other relevant disciplines would also be welcomed. Once the period of re-briefing is complete, the Lead Design Team will work with the client team to sub-contract smaller, emerging practices to inform stages 2 and 3 of fit out design, co-designing with users at certain stages and in particular areas of the scheme.’
The Museum of Childhood opened in 1872 and was originally known as the East London Museum of Art & Science and later as the Bethnal Green Museum. It was created from an ironwork structure originally used by the main V&A museum in South Kensington and featured interiors designed by James William Wild.
The landmark building on Bethnal Green Road has featured items relating to childhood since the 1920s and was rebranded as a specialist museum in the 1970s. The latest commission comes 10 years after Caruso St John completed a phased revamp of the venue, delivering a new entrance pavilion and improved visitor facilities.
The redevelopment project follows increasing growth in visitor numbers and school visits and aims to allow to double the number of items the museum can display from its 35,000-strong collection.
The multidisciplinary ‘base build’ team will restore the Grade II*-listed building, upgrade its permanent galleries and learning spaces, and design temporary exhibitions. Planned new features include a 650m² interactive ‘A-to-Z’ exhibition of children’s objects, an art gallery, a children’s design studio, and a play area.
The interior fit-out team will meanwhile work with the ‘base build’ team and museum to design the museum interiors, engaging a range of new emerging practices to deliver individual commissions as part of the scheme.
The redevelopment is the latest project to emerge from the V&A’s ongoing FuturePlan programme which has engaged high-profile architects such as MUMA, David Kohn, Friend & Company and Amanda Levete. Carmody Groarke completed a new members room for the V&A last year.
The deadline for applications is midday on 16 August.
How to apply
View the contract notice for more information
Victoria and Albert Museum
Tel: +44 2079422229