Being nosey, I like to look over ledges and through gaps into hidden spaces. One of my favourites has disappeared to become the new opening at the V&A. Once upon a time there was a series of faintly grubby arches at the back of the V&A running along Exhibition Road. Now I need peer no longer, for the arches have been cleaned, the boilers that they obscured removed and a whole new gallery and entrance to the museum created.
Architect, Amanda Levete has created a dazzling white courtyard. Looking back through the newly opened screen, to the Natural History Museum the contrast between the glowing white and deep red is stark. Look again at those white tiles, some of them are finely striped in yellow. Don’t look down too much or will be in danger of taking a tumble down the stairs.
One set of stairs goes up and one goes down, I know this because I tried to go up the down ones and got told off. When presented with a set of up and down stairs it is a boon to have a twin to scamper up and down the steps spotting each other as you go.
This vast space will house temporary exhibitions, so seeing it empty won’t happen often.
I love the way that the triangular skylights set at ground level let natural light into the subterranean space. It will be interesting to see if how the light gets used when exhibitions are in place.
Once back up having used the correct set of stairs, this is the view into the newly created courtyard. Everything is very light and airy, very different to heavy Victorian galleries in the rest of the museum.
Now there are two main entrances (well, three if you count the small one accessed via the foot tunnel from South Kensington tube) my choice will not only be which gallery to visit but which entrance to choose. Which one would you head to?