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Wraps come off £5m RIBA and V&A architecture gallery

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The RIBA and the Victoria and Albert Museum will unveil Gareth Hoskins Architects' designs for the V&A architecture gallery this week.

The gallery will be the location of the 'Architecture for All' project and the new exhibition space for the RIBA's drawing collection. Wright & Wright Architects will also unveil its designs for the archive stores and study rooms in the Henry Cole Wing where the RIBA library's collections will be housed.

The cost of the project is estimated at £5 million.

The 300m 2gallery is made up of three elements - the stairs and landing gallery, the main gallery 128 and the slip store gallery. The stair element will include a 'totem pole' which will drop down the stairwell and display 'talking heads and sound bites' on the nature of architecture.

The main gallery will have five elements - four 'skyscrapers' and a glass table running the length of the gallery, which will display a cityscape comprising of models from the RIBA's collections.

Each 5m-high tower will represent elements of architecture's impact. Themes suggested include, 'The Making of Architecture', 'The Art of Architecture', and 'People and Architecture'.At the pinnacle of each tower, there will be a display screen showing relevant images and visitors will be able to enter each structure for an interactive experience.

The gallery will also include a 'projector wall' to display images of key architectural projects. This will tie in with a 'hot topic zone' which will use interactive displays to engage the public in a dialogue on current architectural debates.

The slip store gallery will be the temporary exhibition space, and will run along one wall of the main gallery.

The project will open in 2004. Check www. ajplus. co. uk for images on Monday.

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