Architectural History of the V&A 1836 - 1854
The origins of the Museum are as complex as the building itself. They date back ultimately to 1836, when a report by a House of Commons Select Committee concluded that the arts were not receiving enough encouragement in Britain and little attention was being paid to the importance of good design.
Architectural History of the V&A 1863 - 1873
Francis Fowke was a consummate forward-planner. Even before the North and South Courts had been roofed in, he had worked out the details of an ambitious master plan for the Brompton Park House site. Going against the contemporary fashion for Gothic architecture, he proposed to continue the North Italian Renaissance style chosen for the Sheepshanks Gallery across all the new buildings.
Architectural History of the V&A 1873 - 1899
In 1870 the Treasury announced that the erection and maintenance of all public buildings would now come under the direct control of the Office of Works. This decision stemmed from Acton Smee Ayrton, the newly appointed First Commissioner of Works.
Decorative sculpture on the exterior of the Victoria and Albert Museum
Since 1860, the Museum's successive architects, Captain Francis Fowke, and Major-General Henry Scott, had both produced designs for imposing extensions, but the government had provided no funds for a new building to relieve pressure on what had rapidly become the extremely overcrowded and cramped South Kensington Museum. In 1891, however, a competition was at last held for the completion of the Museum, and this was won by (Sir) Aston Webb, R.A.
In 2004 RIBA and the V&A opened the first museum gallery in the country dedicated to architecture in the UK. It provides an accessible and engaging introduction to the art, use and practice of architecture. On display are models, drawings and designs, and samples of materials, as well as photographs and fragments of buildings.