The V&A has appointed David Bickle, a senior partner at Hawkins\Brown, to replace the late Moira Gemmill as its new head of design
The 51-year-old architect described his new role with the Kensington-based institution - officially director of design, exhibitions and FuturePlan - as a ‘remarkable opportunity [to] join the museum at a time of incredible change’.
The position had been held for more than decade by Gemmill before she left to become the director of capital programmes at the Royal Collection Trust earlier this year. Gemmill, who was hailed as ‘one of the profession’s great patrons and champions’, was tragically killed in a cycling accident last month (AJ 10.04.15).
Bickle will be charged with overseeing a raft of major construction projects, including Amanda Levete’s £49 million Exhibition Road building project, Kengo Kuma’s new outpost for the museum in Dundee, forthcoming phases of the ‘FuturePlan’ for South Kensington and the proposed new venue within the Olympicopolis cultural quarter in east London.
He added: ‘I want to continue the legacy of commissioning great architecture, exhibitions and design and to be a custodian of its core values.
‘It is my intention to create thoughtful, immersive and interactive environments for others to be captivated, educated and inspired by the museum’s treasures.’
Bickle leaves Hawkins\Brown after almost a quarter of a century and practice co-founder Roger Hawkins admitted he would be ‘greatly missed’.
Hawkins said: ‘We are truly thrilled Bickle has been offered this wonderful opportunity. He has contributed a huge amount to the success of the practice over the last 25 years.;
Bickle’s key projects for the AJ100 top 30 ranked company include the re-development of the Henry Moore Foundation in Hertfordshire, the regeneration of the Park Hill estate in Sheffield and the repurposing of the former Press, Media and Broadcast Centres within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, to create ‘a new digital neighbourhood’.
Welcoming Bickle to the role, Tim Reeve, V&A deputy director and chief operating officer, said: ‘We are delighted to have found someone of David’s calibre and experience to fill such an important and prestigious role at the V&A. He is highly respected in the architectural and design community, and will bring with him the excellent standards, creativity and vision that the V&A has always demanded as the world’s leading museum of art and design.’
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