The concept by Daniel Libeskind for the Victoria and Albert Museum’s 42m Boilerhouse gallery has met with mixed reactions from the architectural and design communities.
The Polish architect’s design, called The Spiral, aims to “achieve the status of a national icon, as the Eiffel Tower does for Paris”, says V&A director Dr Alan Borg.
But Libeskind’s creation has been described as “ghastly” by Giles Worsley, editor of Perspectives on Architecture, and “in keeping with the Victorians’ passion for exuberant buildings” by architect Piers Gough. The V&A has, however, been praised for taking a risk, and for using a non-British architect.
The museum has said that it hopes to blend the skills of its in-house design department and external design consultancies for the Boilerhouse exhibition design.
The V&A unanimously chose Libeskind over Benson and Forsyth, Foster & Partners, Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners, Zaha Hadid, Michael Hopkins and Partners, Eva Jiricna Architects and Ian Ritchie Architects.
Libeskind is currently working on the Berlin Museum and the Bremen Philharmonic Hall.