Victoria and Albert Museum, London
One of the year's most anticipated architectural endeavors, the Exhibition Road Quarter designed by Amanda Levete and her practice, AL_A, opens today at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The bold addition features the world's first all-porcelain public courtyard, paved with 11,000 handmade porcelain tiles in 15 different patterns. The tiles were manufactured by Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum, the Netherlands' oldest registered company, established in 1572.
What: The Exhibition Road Building Project at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) includes a new entrance, courtyard and subterranean gallery for temporary exhibitions.
Architect: Amanda Levete Architects (AL_A)
How big: 6,360 sq. m
How much: £49.5m
Funders: The Monument Trust, the Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation, the Blavatnik Family Foundation, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Headley Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation.
What they say: “The scheme will transform a previously inaccessible back-of-house space into the open courtyard for installations, events and a café, which, by revising the existing screen designed by Sir Aston Webb, will create a new relationship between the heart of the V&A and Exhibition Road.
What the source says: The development includes the Sainsbury Gallery for temporary exhibitions and the Blavatnik Hall, named after the patron Leonard Blavatnik who donated several million pounds towards the new wing.
Design Society / V&A, Shenzhen
What: The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London will open a new design gallery, within Design Society, in collaboration with China Merchants Shekou Holdings (CMSK) in Shekou in Shenzhen, southern China.
Architect: Japanese architecture studio Maki & Associates
How big: The museum will be part of the 70,000 sq. m Sea World Arts and Culture Centre
How much: undisclosed
Funder: China Merchants Shekou Holdings
What they say: “The [gallery] design features three cantilevered volumes atop a deconstructed plinth, opening up horizons to the mountain, the sea and the city.”
What the source says: Under the terms of the five-year partnership with CMSK, the V&A will organise ongoing presentations of 20th- and 21st-century international design from its collection in the V&A Gallery.
Louvre Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi
What: The long awaited Louvre Abu Dhabi, a major encyclopaedic museum in the Middle East, is due to open on Saadiyat Island, the new museum and culture quarter developed by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.
Architect: Jean Nouvel
How big: 9,200 sq. m of galleries for permanent displays; 2,000 sq. m for temporary exhibitions.
How much: The project has been financed to the tune of $1bn by the Emirati government.
Funder: In 2007, France and the United Arab Emirates signed an unprecedented agreement to create the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
When: No official opening date has been announced but the building is scheduled for completion by the spring.
What they say: “Louvre Abu Dhabi is intended to be a place of discovery, exchange and education. It will also play an important social role in United Arab Emirates. In this respect, it can be seen as a product of the 18th-century Enlightenment in Europe. This movement gave birth to the principle of the encyclopaedic and universal museum housing diverse collections of works for the purposes of public display and scientific study.”
What the source says: Twelve other French institutions, including the Centre Pompidou, have agreed to contribute loans in exchange for a €265m fee spread over 15 years. In 2008, the Louvre’s then-director, Henri Loyrette, told us that the deal represented “a revolution” for French museums because it provided them “with what you in the US and UK are used to—namely, an endowment fund”.
Sources: London CNN