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 20 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.
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 by the V&A’s Royal Patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, in October 2018, and was visited by over 600,000 people in its first year of opening. This new space shares the breadth of the V&A’s world-leading photography collection in refurbished 19th-century picture galleries, upgraded with state-of-the-art display conditions and environmental controls.
Phase Two (opening in early 2023) will continue this transformation by creating an additional four gallery spaces. An interactive gallery about the history and use of the camera will feature a walk-in camera obscura portrait studio, along with a timeline of cameras to explain how they work and how photographers use them. An impressive reading room dedicated to photography and the book will visibly store the Royal Photographic Society collection of rare and unique photobooks, whilst two further display galleries will show global contemporary photography and cutting-edge commissions.
The V&A Museum of Childhood
Founded in 1872 as a branch of the V&A, the Museum of Childhood was east London’s first public museum. We are now embarking on a major project with a vision to transform it from a museum of the material and social history of childhood, into a world-leading museum of design and creativity for children and young people aged 0-14.
The reimagined museum aims to inspire young people to be active citizens and creative change-makers in their communities, to empower educators to drive forward creative education in art, design and performance from early years to secondary school, to connect young people with the creative ingenuity of designers, entrepreneurs, innovators and inventors and with each other, and to lead the sector in child-centred museum practice.
We are collaborating with children, families and teachers to design new permanent gallery displays, upgrade the building’s infrastructure and create a world-class visitor experience. From 2023, an expanded programme of exhibitions, events and learning programmes will serve to empower young people with creative skills and champion creative education.
The Collection and Research Centre
The V&A is embarking on one of UK's most significant museum projects of the decade: a landmark and visionary project to revolutionise how our world-class collection is experienced. In spring 2024, our reserve collections will move from their current store at Blythe House in Kensington Olympia, to a new purpose-built Centre, one of two new V&A sites in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London. A hub for the V&A’s world-leading collections and family of museums, and a new cultural space celebrating global creativity, it will build on the V&A’s long-standing heritage and founding mission to make art and design accessible to all.
The new Centre will reinvent the idea of a museum store as an immersive visitor experience and home for over 250,000 objects, 350,000 library books and 917 archives spanning the breadth of the V&A’s collection. Crucially, this major facility will be open to the public with an array of objects on display for visitors to explore, as well as public spaces offering views into the stores and conservation studios – inviting visitors to see ‘behind the scenes’ of the museum. With a design led by New York-based practice Diller Scofidio + Renfro, it will bring treasures out of storage and into public view for the first time in generations.
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, as well as undertaking visionary new projects.
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.