The V&A is looking for an “exciting and ambitious design practice” to redesign its main shop and the budget for the project will be £1 million.
The winning designers are expected to “introduce a new approach to retail at the museum” and the shop should set an exemplar of “current retail operations and design”, according to the museum.
“Close dialogue with galleries”
It is the latest project to emerge from the museum’s FuturePlan – a programme of development, which is seeing designers reimagine galleries and create new visitor facilities, while restoring the original building.
The new shop will need to be “a more dynamic and flexible space” than its predecessor and will “function in close dialogue with the galleries, exhibitions and events surrounding it”, according to the V&A.
This chimes with the FuturePlan, which calls for a more holistic approach to the visitor experience by bringing hospitality closer to the collections.
Defining visitor experience
The shop is situated on the ground floor at the heart of the museum. Visitors funnel through it as they pass to and from the front and back of the museum.
It is crucial in defining not only retail in the museum but the visitor experience as a whole, according to the museum, which says: “The shop provides access to and from almost all areas on the ground floor and is traversed by virtually every visitor arriving at or exiting the museum.”
The V&A expects to invite five applicants to tender. Requests to participate must be made before 6 April.
It is expected to be built by March 2017.
Head here for more info.