External render of the V&A Museum in east London's Stratford by O'Donnell + Tuomey. Courtesy O’Donnell + Tuomey, Ninety90

Practice O’Donnell + Tuomey has unveiled designs for the Victoria & Albert Museum’s new east London location.

It’s the first look at the five-storey canalside museum, which is slated to open in 2023 and will show exhibitions curated by the V&A as well as the Smithsonian. The architects have designed an angular, folded exterior – inspired by a trip to the museum’s Balenciaga exhibition – which they describe as ‘a jacket over the skeleton’.

Located in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the building will form part of a new cultural quarter alongside additional outposts for Sadler’s Wells, the BBC and UAL’s London College of Fashion. The V&A is also opening a new archive nearby, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

Interior render of the Diller Scofidio + Renfro designed Here East building. Courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Render of the Diller Scofidio + Renfro designed archive interiors. Courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Interior render of the Diller Scofidio + Renfro designed Here East building. Courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Render of the Diller Scofidio + Renfro designed archive interiors. Courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Described by the practice as ‘an immersive cabinet of curiosities’, the storage facility – home to around 250,000 objects – will be open for the public to visit. Normally unseen pieces rumoured to be on display include a Frank Lloyd Wright plywood office, and a 15th-century ceiling from the destroyed Altamira Palace in Spain…

Read next:  The V&A Dundee is an ode to Scottish craftsmanship

Emma is a contributing editor at The Spaces. She also writes for Grafik, Dezeen and Creative Review

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