This morning, Lizzie and I had a very exciting visit to the V&A Daylit Gallery, currently under construction, and soon to form part of the Museum’s brand new Medieval & Renaissance Galleries. The Gallery has been designed by MUMA Architects (designers for the M&R Galleries) – and includes a stunning glass roof engineered by Dewhurst Macfarlane. This is not only the first new-build architectural space for theV&A in 100 years, but it is also going to be the new location for the structure by Japanese architect, Terunobu Fujimori, for the ‘1:1’ exhibition. His proposal was originally intended for the Cast Courts, but after some shuffling around, we have now decided to build the Studio Mumbai structure in the Cast Courts, and instead will build Professor Fujimori’s structure in the Daylit Gallery (thanks to some very accomodating and supportive colleagues in the M&R team and the Sculpture Dept). We’re quite thrilled about the idea of situating Professor Fujimori’s treehouse retreat in direct dialogue with the V&A’s Paul Pindar House and the Morlaix Staircase, two absolute treasures from the M&R collections that will be installed as highlights of the Daylit gallery. You may remember them from their time as long-term residents in the old V&A shop!
The main intention of this morning’s site visit was to try and work out an exact location for the structure. The treehouse itself has a fairly small footprint, but in a gallery which is essentially an apse-like ‘U-shape’, the area we are working in is fairly pinched – and so there aren’t too many locations that are suitable. Here’s Lizzie deep in discussion with Mark Wakelen, V&A Clerk of Works, as they look at Professor Fujimori’s design drawings (right) trying to figure out an appropriate location. Here are some videos of them in action, [Film 1] and [Film 2].
After much deliberation, we have finally settled on a location just to the right of the Morlaix staircase, at the far end of the Gallery (shown below)