The Netherlands

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture b.v.

Nico Koomanskade 1021
3072 LM Rotterdam
The Netherlands

+31 (0) 10 485 5801


West 8 Brussels urban design & landscape architecture bvba

Waaienberg 123
1745 Opwijk

+31 (0) 10 485 5801

United States

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture p.c.

2133 Arch Street, Suite 101
Philadelphia, PA 19103
United States of America

+1 347 371 2252

Access, Ornamentation & Craft

Victoria & Albert Museum, Exhibition Road, London, UK

A new entrance to the world’s largest museum of applied arts, decorative arts and design.

Victoria & Albert Museum’s strategic objectives are explicitly to provide optimum access to diverse audiences, now and in the future; to be both national and international; to promote, support and develop the UK creative economy by inspiring designers and makers and by stimulating enjoyment and appreciation of design, and to operate with financial and organizational efficiency.

West 8 designed a courtyard that is the warmest and most welcoming possible, that still maintains flows and capacities and is devised on the creation of a quiet, sensitizing atmosphere – not in competition with the beautiful facades flanking the courtyard, but adding the euphoria of the ornamental quality of Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper). The south-facing façade of the volume in the northeast corner of the courtyard is where the vertical curtain of Virginia creeper paints the seasons. In good-humoured dialogue with this living green wall is its bronze reflection – the softly meandering ribbon-like balustrade, decorated with repetitive panels of cast bronze. The bronze balustrade has additional functional performances: it carries the regulation-compliant handrail, also of bronze, and at night LED lights installed behind the panels glow, light bouncing and layering like a miracle coming to the eye and filling the mind with illusion.

Local quartzite, a stone whose white tones have a golden hue, is arranged in alternating smooth (cut) and rough (split-face) 1 meter bands in a pattern responsive to both structure and circulation.

Victoria & Albert Museum

Jun Aoki & Associates, Arup London, Fletcher Priest

© West 8