FuturePlan is an ambitious programme of development which is transforming the V&A. The best contemporary designers are creating exciting new galleries and visitor facilities, while revealing and restoring the beauty of the original building. In the past 15 years, over 85% of the museum's public spaces have been transformed, improving access and allowing the collections to be more elegantly and intelligently displayed. By introducing bold new architectural interventions, FuturePlan aims to delight and to inspire visitors, and to continue the museum's tradition of championing new talent.
The Raphael Court
The Raphael Cartoons are among the greatest treasures of the High Renaissance and have been on loan to the V&A from the Royal Collection since 1865. Painted by Raphael Santi (1483 – 1520), the Cartoons are full-scale designs for tapestries made to hang in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel.
To mark the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death in 2020, the V&A is embarking on a landmark project to enhance our visitors' understanding and enjoyment of the Raphael Cartoons and the gallery in which they hang.
Our specialist conservators will assess the Cartoons to ensure their preservation for future generations. New research will provide the foundations for innovative interpretation and an exciting digital experience, which will unveil new stories about Raphael’s artistic practice, the creation of the Cartoons and tapestries, and their legacy within the wider development of art and design.
Photography Centre – Phase Two
The V&A has been acquiring photographs since 1852 and now holds one of the largest and most important collections in the world. Comprising over 800,000 objects that encompass the medium's entire history, the museum holds works by the world's leading historic and contemporary photographers. To match the collection's significance, we are creating a new Photography Centre in two phases:
Phase One was opened on 10 October 2018 by the V&A's Royal Patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. The refurbishment has more than doubled the permanent gallery space for photography, enabled us to digitise our collections, and created an upgraded state-of-the-art storage facility.
Phase Two (opening in 2022) will establish an impressive reading room which will store our collection of rare and unique photobooks; two flexible galleries which will show cutting-edge contemporary commissions and explore our permanent collection in thematic displays, and a curiosity studio showing some of the more unusual objects from our Photography collections.
The V&A Museum of Childhood
For nearly 150 years, the V&A Museum of Childhood – or the Bethnal Green Museum as it was once known – has served as an indispensable civic space for the local community. Today, the museum uses its world-class collection of children's toys and artefacts to explore art and design.
To mark the 150th anniversary of the museum’s historic building in 2022, we have embarked on a flagship project to reinvent our much-loved museum to support the needs of children today.
This major redevelopment will establish the Museum of Childhood as a world-leading museum of design and creativity for children, families and young people. Developed in collaboration with local children, schools and communities, we will create immersive galleries and flexible learning studios, invigorate the outdoor landscape, reveal and celebrate the building's Grade II* listed Victorian architecture, and offer a world-class visitor experience. An expanded programme of exhibitions, events and learning activities will support art and design education, empower young people with creative skills and champion learning through play.
This transformational project – the most ambitious in the Museum of Childhood’s history – will establish a design hub in the heart of east London to build young people’s creative confidence and showcase the breadth of the V&A’s nationally significant collection for generations to come.
The Fashion Gallery
The V&A’s Fashion Gallery showcases the museum’s world-leading fashion and textiles collection alongside a globally admired programme of temporary fashion exhibitions. The Fashion Gallery – located in the spectacular 19th-century domed court designed by Aston Webb – is one of the museum’s most popular galleries and the only permanent display of fashion in London.
The V&A is embarking on a landmark project to revolutionise how our world-class collection is accessed, explored and experienced. V&A East will create two complementary sites, a new Collection and Research Centre at Here East and a museum at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, East London. V&A East will provide a 360-degree view of the V&A and illuminate the breadth of its work in ways that have not been realised before.
How You Can Support Futureplan
FuturePlan is transforming the V&A. Through this programme of renewal we have revitalised the displays, researched and conserved the collections, clarified the layout and restored much of the building's original grand architecture.
FuturePlan is almost entirely funded by private donations and is succeeding thanks to the extraordinary commitment of our supporters. If you would like to get involved, please contact the Development department. We would be delighted to discuss how you can help FuturePlan restore and redesign the V&A.
We are also seeking funding to support the other activities that make the V&A a world-class centre of excellence and learning in art and design. You can support our programmes that relate to education, acquisitions, conservation and research.
Find out the latest news from the wide range of FuturePlan projects being carried out around the V&A by architects, designers and leading Museum experts.