FuturePlan: Renovation of the Cast Courts
The V&A’s Cast Courts are currently being refurbished.
First opened in 1873, the Cast Courts are among the most popular galleries in the V&A and house some of the Museum's largest and most loved objects, such as the 5.5 metre high cast of Michelangelo's David and a plaster cast of Trajan's Column, displayed in two pieces which if put together would reach 35.6 metres high.
Originally designed by General Henry Scott, the Cast Courts are arranged as two double-height, day-lit courts. Plans for their renovation include reinstating the Victorian decorative scheme to enhance the architectural detail of the galleries, restoring the tiled floor and opening up archways between the galleries to create new vistas. Areas of damage to the roof, ceiling and walls will be also be repaired.
Moira Gemmill, V&A's Director of Projects, Design and Estate, said:
'Collecting replicas of famous sculptures and monuments was a 19th-century phenomenon and the real challenge in refurbishing the Cast Courts is to bring them up to the standards of the 21st Century while retaining their Victorian charm. We want to restore and enhance the original architectural features of the Cast Courts and modernise the displays.'
The refurbishment of the Cast Courts will also offer V&A sculpture curators the opportunity to further research the casts and new interpretation will be a central part of the project. New labels will be created and a small number of digital screens with short, silent films will be incorporated into the galleries.
Work is currently being carried out in Gallery 46b, which is now closed to the public. However, Gallery 46a will remain open and both galleries are viewable from Gallery 111 at high level.
This development is 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.