V&A Museum of Childhood
Architect: Caruso St John Architects
Client: Victoria & Albert Museum
Project completion: 2007
Although designated as a building for children, the original museum entry and layout was far from suitable and far from accessible. The primary objective of the refurbishment brief was to address these shortcomings.
David Bonnett Associates (DBA) commenced its input by undertaking an access audit in order to fully understand the layout, its restrictions and the opportunities for improvement. The number of children likely to visit at any one time is considerable including accompanying parents and teaching staff. To facilitate such numbers, movement into and through the building has to be fully accessible while avoiding congestion. It also has to allow for considerable cloakroom space and areas for lunch, in addition to the exhibition spaces and class rooms. A particular challenge was achieving step-free emergency escape from the lower ground classroom and cloaks level.
DBA worked directly with the architects Caruso St John and the museum director and staff in achieving the objective of the brief. These objectives were met within the context of a listed building with work phased to ensure the museum remained open. The renovated museum has since received various awards for its design.
RIBA London Award 2007
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