The V & A’s new extension

Gosh, how many years has it been since this entrance to the V&A was really properly used?

Well it’s now open and architect Amanda Levete’s company, AL_A has transformed this part of Exhibition Road as well as, of course, the museum itself with this dramatic intervention.

Fractal shapes dominate the courtyard: in tiles, grilles and windows

The new courtyard is entirely covered in white porcelain tiles making the area very light – the practical in me noted the difficulty in keeping these tiles clean though – as you can see below they’re already a bit grubby on the first day of opening. 

I love the contrast and conversation between the brand new and the established – see how the lines and angles respond to one another.Once inside, a dark-lined staircase takes you down  to a huge column-free gallery where Shade, an installation by artist Simon Heijdens could be experienced through those fractal windows.

Back up the double staircase to the Blavatnik Hall entrance wherethe existing mosaic tiles were re-used to create new designs.
And here is the model of it all before anything was even built.