V&A hunts group for new restaurant

The Victoria & Albert Museum is looking to appoint a design group to create interiors for a new-look restaurant and café, which are set to open in 2006 in the 19th century William Morris and Gamble Rooms and adjoining galleries.

The Victoria & Albert Museum is looking to appoint a design group to create interiors for a new-look restaurant and café, which are set to open in 2006 in the 19th century William Morris and Gamble Rooms and adjoining galleries.

V&A director of projects and estate Gwyn Miles confirms that the venue is in discussions with four design groups. ‘We’re just going through the selection process now and hope to make an announcement in two to three weeks’ time,’ she says.

In 2007, the V&A’s existing restaurant is to become a learning centre designed by London architect and design consultancy Softroom. Its shop will be turned into gallery space, confirms Miles, exhibiting items from the museum’s Renaissance collection in the short term, and ultimately displaying architectural pieces.

The revamped eatery and shop are among a raft of changes planned for the London museum over the coming years, as part of a £150m regeneration programme unveiled in 2002 (DW 18 April 2002).

Architect Eva Jiricna, who heads the team overseeing and implementing the regeneration programme, is to transform the Medieval Treasury’s former home into a retail space by October 2005.

Jiricna will also create a walkway to the museum’s 3000m2 central garden, which is being redesigned by Kim Wilkie Associates (DW 19 February).

The V&A is also in the midst of a controversial £25m ‘redisplay’ of its Medieval and Renaissance collection, which will move to a suite of nine galleries near the museum’s entrance. Designed by McInnes, Usher, McKnight Architects, these are expected to open in 2009.

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