Micro elements achieve a macro effect
Carmody Groarke for The Victoria and Albert Museum
Contract value: Confidential
The new V&A members’ room creates a congenial gathering place that is connected to the entrance sequence of the museum and its gallery spaces below.
Views to and from the heavily modified space are improved through a raised floor. Mirrors bring in the beauty of the surrounding courtyard buildings and the movement of people below, widening perception of the internal space and putting it at the heart of the museum’s life. A balance is struck between brightness, of both light and acoustics, and a material warmth and depth from timber and leather. The smaller spaces within the members’ room and the beautiful bespoke layout allow a variety of configurations for different events. The impressive travertine bar pulls this linear collection of rooms together, with detail that is suggestive of the collection housed below. The architects have skilfully expressed and magnified the importance of this social space through micro elements that achieve a macro effect. This is a work of craft, in light, that feels like it has always been there.