Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

MUMA balustrade ‘explodes’

  • Comment

The glass balustrade of McInnes Usher McKnight Architects (MUMA)’s staircase at the multiple award-winning V&A Medieval & Renaissance Galleries has ‘exploded’

The staircase, which is the centrepiece of the museum’s £30 million revamp, was evacuated and closed to the public three weeks ago after several panels spontaneously shattered.

MUMA landed the staircase job under the V&A FuturePlan programme, which commissions new architecture for the museum. The V&A gallery extension has won a number of awards, including the WAF Structural Design of the Year Award, the British Construction Industry Conservation Award, and best architectural achievement at the British Design Awards 2010.

A V&A museum worker said the glass balustrade ‘exploded’, and speculated that ‘heat and cold’ could be to blame. MUMA declined to comment.

The staircase design featured a glass balustrade bonded to a stainless-steel plate bolted to the in-situ concrete cast structure. The practice employed balustrade subcontractor TP Aspinall, who also declined to comment.

A V&A spokesperson confirmed that an investigation was ongoing. They said: ‘We cannot confirm the cause until the assessment is complete but
a programme for replacement is now underway.’

The MUMA stair, which replaces the original Aston Webb marble staircase, was subject to delays and was not ready for use when the gallery opened in December 2009.


  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs


Do you want the latest jobs emailed to you?
Sign up for job alerts.

AJ Jobs