Victoria and Albert Museum Main Entrance
PRS has carried out several projects at the V&A as part of the museum's FuturePlan, including the Main Entrance on Cromwell Road, the Glass Gallery, Contemporary Glass Gallery, Textile Reference Collection, Leighton Exhibition, Secretariat Block, Temporary Exhibition Galleries, South-East Asian Study Rooms, Masterplan 1994-98.
The main entrance to the V&A on the Cromwell Road has been transformed by the creation of a new entrance suitable for disabled visitors. There were many heritage issues to contend with, as this is a Grade I listed building, extensive discussions took place with English Heritage, who were both helpful and supportive of the proposal.
The scheme takes the form of a gentle radius and the steps merge into the slopes with a tapering stone detail. The entrance has been considerably expanded in area allowing a much more generous approach to the Museum and creating a gathering place in front of the doors. The Museum’s brief was to provide a graceful entrance where disabled access formed an integral part of the design and would be used by all members of the public. The Museum also wanted to create a place where people could meet and congregate. It was important that the steps became one of the meeting places on the London scene.
The steps and slopes are made from Shirehill sandstone with fibre-optic lighting set behind glass risers both illuminating the Museum at night and providing lighting to the treads. The main entrance was kept operational throughout the works.