The British Galleries at the V&A

Project: The total redisplay of the 15 British Galleries in South Kensington, occupying 10 per cent of the Museum’s gallery space.

Subject: British art, craft and design 1500-1900

Content: More than 3000 objects, from the Great Bed of Ware to work by William Morris, Christopher Dresser, Nicholas Hilliard and Grinling Gibbons. Treasures range from tapestry and sculpture to silver, furniture and ceramics.

Scale of challenge: The largest single display project the V&A has ever undertaken. Renovation of two L-shaped floors of a Grade I-listed building, including new lifts, lighting, seating, signage, interactive displays and environmental controls.

Casson Mann’s role: ‘Interpretive designers’ responsible for the exhibition fit-out, working alongside consultant David Mlinaric, architect Alastair Gourlay and lighting designer Richard Aldridge.

What the client says: ‘This is not a top-down, dogmatic approach. We are paying unprecedented attention to our audiences.’ – Alan Borg, V&A director

What Dinah Casson says: ‘We’re telling a story of 400 years of taste-making. We’re finding a way to share the insights we’ve learnt about the historical roots of British design with our own generation of artists and designers.’

Cost: £31m

To be completed: Late 2000

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