One of the Cast Courts, V&A

One of the Cast Courts, V&A

Cast Courts

Level 1, Rooms 46a and 46b
Built 1870-3

These great halls, originally called the Architecture Courts, were built to house the V&A's growing collection of large-scale architectural plaster casts.

The courts made use of new ideas, technology and techniques. The coved ceiling was one of the first uses of laminated timber. The glass roof originally used glass squares set into the ironwork frame without putty, to allow the metal to expand. Even before opening the roof leaked when it snowed.

Around each gallery there is a narrow gallery supported by cast-iron brackets, covered in plaster. It originally carried hundreds of gas jets to light the courts.