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Exclusive: V&A names winner for fashion gallery makeover

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The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) has chosen Roz Barr Architects to overhaul the fashion gallery at its South Kensington home

The practice was selected ahead of Farshid Moussavi, Alison Brooks, 6a architects, Ab Rogers Design, and Pernilla Ohrstedt Studio for the ’exceptional project’ to reconfigure the museum’s Octagon Court.

The scheme will redesign the exhibition spaces – officially Gallery 40 – which showcase the V&A’s collection of 14,000 outfits dating from 1600 to the present day and including works by Vivienne Westwood, Mary Quant and Alexander McQueen.

Planned to compete in 2022, the project comes seven years after 6a architects completed a light-touch £950,000 refurbishment of the 1,580m² gallery, which was originally designed by Aston Webb as part of a 1909 expansion of the museum.

Roz Barr’s team is also expected to deliver a temporary exhibition space and retail area under the scheme, which is the latest to emerge from the museum’s wider FuturePlan renewal programme.

Philippa Simpson, director of design and FuturePlan at the V&A said: ’Our fashion gallery is a favourite among our visitors, from specialists to day-trippers, and sits at the heart of the museum’s activities with a dynamic exhibition programme and changing displays.

’Roz’s approach is very human-centred, with a focus on material and atmosphere. We are extremely excited by her team’s vision to transform this space into a gallery that both celebrates and interrogates our extraordinary collection, to introduce existing visitors to new objects and inspire those who have never visited the V&A to explore further.’

Practice founder Roz Barr said she was ’extremely pleased to have won this extraordinary competition.’

It is understood the design contract for the project, the studio’s most prestigious to date, is worth £450,000.

The V&A’s ongoing FuturePlan initiative aims to recruit the ‘best contemporary designers’ to improve visitor facilities inside the Grade I-listed landmark building.

Already completed FuturePlan projects include a photography centre by David Kohn Architects, a £1 million shop by Friend and Company and a new members’ room by Carmody Groarke.

Projects in the pipeline include a £2.25 million overhaul of the museum’s main entrance on Cromwell Road by Sam Jacob Studio, a £25 million collections centre by Diller Scofidio + Renfro for the V&A’s new outpost in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and a £13.5 million revamp of the V&A Museum of Childhood by AOC and De Matos Ryan.

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