London’s Victoria & Albert Museum today opens a groundbreaking centre for arts education.
The cutting-edge Sackler Centre, designed by architect Softroom, boasts a digital studio, auditorium, design and practical art studios – designed to give visitors the chance to explore and develop their own creative talents.
More than doubling the V&A’s education space, the 2000m2 centre will take over two floors of the Henry Cole Wing on London’s Exhibition Road. Its own entrance will allow the facility to open outside normal museum hours and operate as a separate arts centre and venue for events.
To celebrate the opening the V&A is holding a weekend of special events, Designerama, from 24-26 October.
On Friday night the Celebrity Design Debate will see industry professionals and celebrities such as Tim Marlow, Grayson Perry, Jonathan Glancey, Dorothy Hogg and Jo Lawrence explore how design can change the world, while on Saturday the Design the Future workshop will allow parents and their children to create radical new designs for the future – from fashion to furniture.
V&A director Mark Jones believes the Sackler Centre is a natural progression for the museum, which was founded to ‘educate and inspire creativity’.
He says it is a place where people of all ages and backgrounds will be able to participate and engage with the creative industries, using the most up-to-date facilities.
The building of the Sackler Centre was funded by a hefty donation from the Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation.
The Sackler Endowment Fund will further fund a series of conferences and lectures at the centre.