Sneak peak: A glimpse at the V&A's planned new east London venue

Hackney fashion designer Molly Goddard's hot pink Daria dress, worn by  Beyoncé.

Hackney fashion designer Molly Goddard's hot pink Daria dress, worn by Beyoncé in her 2020 visual album Black is King. The dress will be displayed at V&A East. - Credit: Courtesy of Molly Goddard. Photograph by Ben Broomfield

London's V&A museum has unveiled its future plans for two new sister sites in Olympic Park, along with its aims to champion under-represented voices and create opportunities for local young people.  

The world renowned museum of art and design will showcase a hot pink dress by a Hackney fashion designer and the portrait of a Dalston woman by the artist who memorialised Barack Obama in his presidential portrait. 

This V&A director Gus Casely-Hayford revealed further details about V&A East, the V&A’s new national museum complex in east London.

He said: “V&A East will build on the V&A’s long-standing heritage in east London and founding mission to make the arts accessible to all. 

"We are shaping a new creative campus and social space, and by working closely in partnership with our local communities, will highlight the cultural dynamism, youth and creativity of east London."

Artist Kehinde Wiley, Portrait of Melissa Thompson, 2020. 

Artist Kehinde Wiley, Portrait of Melissa Thompson, 2020. - Credit: Copyright Kehinde Wiley. Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. Photo by Todd-White Art Photography.


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"We want to amplify the role museums play as a platform for discovery, hope and conversation in our rapidly changing world, to help foster the next generation of Alexander McQueens.”

V&A East will comprise of two sister sites currently under construction at Here East, Olympic Park's innovation and technology campus.

The first site, called V&A East Storehouse, is set to open at Here East in 2024. It will offer an immersive experience, taking visitors behind the scenes and providing the public access to 5,000 years of art and design. 

A rendered view inside the V&A East Storehouse. 

A rendered view inside the V&A East Storehouse. - Credit: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, 2021

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A short walk across the park will take visitors to the V&A East Museum, opening in 2025. The venue will celebrate global creativity.

"Making" will be a central theme running across both sites, which are planned to shine a spotlight on global stories as well as pioneering radicals and extraordinary makers of the past and present. 

The sites will not only house collections for upcoming and established artists, it will also contain working studio spaces as a platform for new ideas. 

External rendered view of V&A East Museum at Stratford Waterfront.

A rendered view of V&A East Museum at Stratford Waterfront. - Credit: O’Donnell + Tuomey / Ninety90, 2018

The first pieces to be displayed at V&A East include Nigerian-American artist Kehinde Wiley's 2020 portrait of east Londoner Melissa Thompson, who the artist met at Ridley Road Market while scouting for subjects.

Wiley also painted the official portrait of Barack Obama in 2017.  

Hackney fashion designer Molly Goddard's hot pink Daria dress, worn by Beyoncé in her 2020 visual album Black is King, will also be exhibited.

The full-length dress is made of 61m of tulle net fabric and was the largest dress that Goddard had made at the time of creation.

Alongside collections, the venue hopes to empower young people and create career pathways into creative industries through initiatives like its V&A East Youth Collective Programme, a rolling six-month paid opportunity for locals aged 16-25.

In addition, design collective RESOLVE has been appointed as V&A East's first Youth Workers in Residence, to help shape future youth programming.

An inside view of the V&A East Museum. 

An inside view of the V&A East Museum. - Credit: © O’Donnell + Tuomey, Ninety90

RESOLVE has been working with organisations across four boroughs, including Hackney Quest, to run a series of creative workshops exploring young people’s connection to their local area.

Their work will culminate in a series of installations, designed and delivered in locations across London, in collaboration with the young participants. 

Creative agency A Vibe Called Tech, whose work explores the intersection of black creativity, culture and innovation, has also recently joined the V&A East project.

They will collaborate with young people on a series of digital content experiments that will inform V&A East’s evolving creative programme.

A rendered image showing a performance in the V&A Storehouse. 

A rendered image showing a performance in the V&A Storehouse. - Credit: © Diller Scofidio + Renfro, 2018

Justine Simons, deputy mayor of London for Culture and the Creative Industries, added“I’m delighted that V&A East is placing young people and the local community at the heart of its exciting new plans.

Hackney fashion designer Molly Goddard.

Hackney fashion designer Molly Goddard. - Credit: Lee Whittaker

"It will inspire our next generation of creatives, showcase diverse voices from around the world and will bring a fresh, innovative approach to displaying its extraordinary collections.

"This is another big step towards establishing East Bank – London’s new powerhouse of culture and education that will boost our recovery and cement London’s reputation as a global creative capital.”

Find out more at www.vam.ac.uk/info/va-east

Rendered imagining of the V&A Storehouse.

Rendered imagining of the V&A Storehouse. - Credit: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, 2018



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