V&A Museum: The Sackler Courtyard

Martyn White

Posted on July 20 2017

The V&A opened its brand new Exhibition Road Quarter to the public at the end of June and I had the pleasure of showcasing my exploration on the Museum's Instagram.

Having followed the V&A Exhibition Quarter extension from concept to completed design, words cannot describe just how honored I was to be given the opportunity to take over the museum's Instagram during the opening week of this brand new space. Exploring the Courtyard, restaurant, new gallery and shop, I was challenged with the task to capture a series of photographs from my personal experience of the spaces. Being an avid lover of the museum and its architecture, I wanted to capture the buildings and spaces from a contrasting and abstract point of view, details that you may not notice until inspected in closer detail.

V&A Museum new courtyard openingV&A extension abstract building against traditional architectureV&A contrasting architectureV&A curved steps from the Sackler Courtyard

The Exhibition Road Quarter opened to the public on Friday 30th June, opening the modern steel gates to an impressive porcelain tile courtyard, the world's first for a public courtyard, containing 11,000 handmade tiles that were inspired by the museum's vast collection of ceramics. Beneath the courtyard is a brand new gallery called the Sainsbury gallery; a flexible 1,100 sq m column free exhibition gallery that will provide the V&A with a gorgeous space for exciting temporary exhibitions. The entire area acts as a brand new gateway into the museum from Exhibition Road and conveniently connects to many of the other museums, galleries and spaces in the area. Blavatnik Hall acts as the new entrance hall, leading directly into exciting galleries for visitors to explore.

Black staircase down to the new V&A galleryV&A Store abstract grid lighting frameV&A abstract extension

The style of each space is unlike anything the V&A has seen before, extending its reach as one of the World's leading museums. What I love about the design is its intention to be different. Whilst this style can be criticised by the lovers of traditional architecture, it compliments the original design or traditional architecture by not trying to replicate it. The smooth lines and clean surfaces direct attention up to the traditional detailing of the main building, encouraging visitors to discover parts of the building that they may have never recognised before. The design also leaves a time stamp on the building's impressive history. Looking back in years to come, we will be able to witness a visual timeline from the progression and evolution of each area, something I find exciting most of all.

V&A gallery extension skylightV&A metal trellis gridV&A Sackler Courtyard new extension

Having followed the construction and had the opportunity to spend the day within the finished designs, it's as if I have been able to get to know each individual space and learn about its personality. If you have not already had the opportunity to visit the gallery, It is a must see for locals and tourists alike. I feel proud of the culture and history that the V&A is able to showcase to the millions of visitors that visit each year and now this new quarter will be able to provide even more excitement and discovery for the thousands of people that pass through it every day.

For details on the V&A and exhibitions displayed in the Sainsbury Gallery, click to view the official website.


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