V&A Museum of Childhood
Inside the new concept for the V&A's Museum of Childhood.
Rebecca Wayman

Planning permission green light for major transformation of the V&A Museum of Childhood

Planning permission and listed building consent has been achieved for the base-build scheme of a major redevelopment of the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green.

Work will begin in late 2020. The proposals were first unveiled in October 2018 from architecture practice De Matos Ryan and have since been refined and further developed through over 30 co-design sessions with schoolchildren, teachers, community groups and families.

Now commencing RIBA Stage 4, the base-build designs include: A reimagination of the museum’s outdoor landscape; an upgraded Clore Learning Centre for art and design education; a ‘Kaleidoscope’ feature staircase in the Main Hall; plus ‘essential’ renovation of the museum’s infrastructure including upgrades to lighting, acoustics and heating.

Pip Simpson, director of design and futureplan, said: “This flagship project for the V&A will see the V&A Museum of Childhood radically reimagined and reinvigorated as part of the biggest redesign in its entire 147-year-history - we are delighted to have reached this significant milestone.

“De Matos Ryan’s designs are rooted in the needs of our 21st Century audience while celebrating the building’s iconic Victorian structure. De Matos Ryan have developed a scheme that will enable the V&A Museum of Childhood to realise its ambition to become a world-leading museum of design and creativity for children, families and young people.”

Earlier this year, the V&A announced the appointment of East London based architecture and design practice AOC to lead the development of the V&A Museum of Childhood’s fit-out scheme.

Angus Morrogh-Ryan and José Esteves de Matos, directors of De Matos Ryan, added: “The museum’s gardens are an incredible and currently untapped resource – so we are pleased to have secured planning approval.

Alongside, we’re reimagining what a museum can and should be for in the twenty-first century to help realise the V&A Museum of Childhood’s incredibly ambitious and exciting new vision to be an international powerhouse of design and creativity for children and their families.“

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