The refurbishment of phase 1 of the ceramics galleries in 2009 included a temporary exhibition space in room 146 which was previously used for staff offices and storage. By bringing this area back into public use it was necessary to create an additional means of escape.
An external covered escape bridge was designed to link the gallery with the adjacent Secretariat building. The V&A decided to adopt a design which showcases contemporary design and fabrication as, although the Link Bridge was only to be used in the event of an emergency, it would be visible from Cromwell Road and from within room 146.
The V&A appointed Wilkinson Eyre Architects to design the Link Bridge. The UK based firm work in a diverse range of market sectors, including transport, the arts, cultural and residential buildings. The firm is responsible for the Floral Street Bridge in Covent Garden as well as the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2002. A model of the practice's 2009 Guangzhou International Finance Centre project is part of the permanent exhibit in the V&A's Architecture Gallery.
This development was completed as part of FuturePlan
FuturePlan is transforming the V&A by revitalising visitor facilities and redisplaying the collections. Using the best architects and designers, we are bringing the V&A into the 21st century and restoring modern design and innovation to the heart of the museum.