The first design consultancy to benefit from the £150m redevelopment plan unveiled by the Victoria & Albert Museum last week (DW 18 April) could be known by the end of June.
A shortlist of consultancies that will work with Eva Jiricna on revamping signage and the museum entrance hall is expected to be announced in two weeks, according to V&A head of projects Gwyn Miles.
These consultancies will then have 40 days to submit bids, which are subject to European tendering rules, with a decision on those bids anticipated to be made soon after.
Improved signage is crucial to the first phase of the V&A’s future plans, which involve re-centring the museum on the garden and cloister at the heart of the complex.
Navigation has traditionally been regarded as difficult for visitors to the V&A and making the museum ‘comprehensible’ is one of the redevelopment’s main aims, says V&A director Mark Jones.
The master plan drawn up by architect Metaphor conceives the museum as a city with various quarters, thoroughfares and axial routes.
The second phase of the museum’s transformation is the construction of architect Daniel Libeskind’s Spiral extension at a cost of £75m.
Jones says all planning hurdles have been cleared and about half the money has been so far raised for the Spiral. The remainder of funding is dependent on large private contributions, he adds.