The V&A’s Museum of Childhood in East London has secured planning permission for a large revamp of the listed building.

Earlier this year, the V&A announced the appointment of East London based architecture and design practice AOC to lead the development of three new permanent galleries, a temporary exhibition space and a complete reimagination of the visitor spaces throughout the museum.

The plans for these spaces is set to be unveiled in early 2020.

The most significant change that most people will see is the new spiral staircase that will sit at the top end of the museum, replacing the old wooden staircase to the right-hand side.

However, most of the changes will be behind the scenes, to improve the functionality of the museum, and bring the building facilities up to modern standards.

A new entrance to the lower floor area is to be built, giving easier access to the classrooms and staff spaces, while a row of offices will be opened up into a new classroom area, and a new larger goods lift will make it easier to change exhibition displays.

The shop moves from the main hall to the entrance lobby, while the reception desk seems to vanish entirely — which opens up more space in the main hall. This means more space for the cafe, and those all too important nighttime events hire revenues.

A semi-circular outdoor learning terrace will also be added around the side of the museum, while the main entrance will be relandscaped to make it more obvious which of the planned two entrances people should use.

Work on the rebuilding is due to start late next year, and should be completed by the time the museum celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2022.


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