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Victoria and Albert Museum, Photography Centre, London, UK

Characteristic of the V&A is the sense of discovery and changing of experience given by many different types and styles of room. Our scheme heightens this quality, connecting both phases by simple but very effective wayfinding. Dramatic entry points are provided and a range of stimulating and engaging experiences along the way, with places to take time and dwell on photography in all its aspects.

Quietly but overarchingly is the original architecture of the galleries, celebrated by imaginative and stimulating treatments. The reading room and cabinet of curiosities, two rooms of powerful character, provide eye catching destinations and bookend between them the subtle and re-interpretable exhibition spaces of rooms 97 and 96. In all of the rooms we propose a single surface membrane of Barrisol famed by the ceiling void, which gives a very large range of lighting possibilities and absorbs sound to make a comfortable acoustic environment.

Walls would be a painted hanging surface, as in Phase 1 and the floor of Pietra Serena stone providing a calm light grey surface. At every entry point and change of room, a mini projector that fits unobtrusively in the lighting track will project a diagram of the whole of the photography centre on the floor, showing where the visitor is and their direction of travel.

New photography galleries and library for the V&A Museum