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O’Donnell + Tuomey reveals details of V&A’s new East Bank outpost

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O’Donnell + Tuomey has revealed images of its detailed designs for V&A East – the Victoria and Albert Museum’s outpost in Stratford’s new £1.1 billion cultural quarter

The V&A East project will be spread over two sites in the Olympic Park: a new museum on the waterfront and a collection and research centre at Here East, the former broadcast centre. The first visuals of Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s proposals for the museum’s £25 million collections centre have also been unveiled

O’Donnell + Tuomey’s project is a key building in Allies and Morrison’s new masterplan for the East Bank – formerly known as Olympicopolis – which also includes a theatre for Sadler’s Wells, a new campus for UAL’s London College of Fashion, as well as new BBC studios.

V&A East will host the museum’s partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and will include two galleries to showcase the full range of its collections and a programme of major exhibitions. Three outdoor terraces will give views across the Olympic Park. 

At Hawkins\Brown’s award-winning Here East, a new collection centre designed by New York-based practice Diller Scofidio + Renfro will allow visitors to explore behind-the-scenes and discover how and why objects are collected.

The centre will include a purpose-built home for 250,000 objects and an additional 917 archives spanning the breadth of the V&A’s collection from fashion, textiles, furniture, theatre to painting and sculpture.

Highlights announced today include Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1930s office for Edgar J Kaufmann and a 15th-century marquetry ceiling from the now-destroyed Altamira Palace near Toledo in Spain.

The ceiling will be resurrected within the centre as a real architectural element above a new public space for displays and events. 

Commenting on the East Bank museum, Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey, partners at O’Donnell + Tuomey, said: ‘The new museum is situated at the pivot-point of the East Bank project, a civic space at the crossroads between the public institutions and the residential at the Waterfront.

‘We imagine the building as a freestanding pavilion, closely connected to its surroundings, its faceted form active on all sides, easily accessible from different directions. Inside is a multi-level sequence of gallery spaces, connected by flowing stairs and big elevators, with display galleries and social spaces in between.’

In June, Allies and Morrison unveiled its redesigned proposals for the East Bank, which also include 600 new homes, half of which will be affordable, in a quartet of towers of up to 24 storeys and a trio of smaller residential buildings. 

In addition to the V&A buildings, O’Donnell + Tuomey is overseeing part of the residential element and the Sadler’s Wells building, while Allies and Morrison is carrying out the detailed design work on the buildings for the BBC and London College of Fashion.

Emerging Spanish practice Camps Felip Arquitecturia is also working on the project.

An application for the East Bank is expected to be submitted later this month.

Olympicopolis: Before (2016) and after (2018)

Olympicopolis: Before (2016) and after (2018)

Olympicopolis: Before (2016) and after (2018)

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