Smithsonian and V&A partner for London Olympicopolis site

by Tom Anstey | 15 Jun 2016

The Smithsonian Institute is teaming up with the V&A Museum to create a collaborative permanent exhibition space at London’s Olympicopolis site.

The plans, which date back to January 2015, originally called for a stand-alone Smithsonian to act as an anchor for the site upon its opening in 2020/2021.

The amended plans now come at significantly less cost to the Smithsonian, with the V&A partnership giving the institution a permanent presence in London.

“Two major cultural institutions in two different countries are coming together in a physical, ongoing, space to collaborate,” said Smithsonian secretary, David J. Skorton.

“Looking at the potential financial responsibility the Smithsonian would undertake, I thought the way we decided to do it, in collaboration with another institution, was more responsible. We have accomplished the goal.”

Smithsonian will present exhibitions within the V&A’s 190,000sq ft (17,650sq m) facility, which will be built opposite the Zaha Hadid-designed London Aquatic Centre.

Olympicopolis – which is a legacy project of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – has been designed by an architectural team led by British practice Allies and Morrison and including RIBA Royal Gold Medal winners O’Donnell and Tuomey and Spanish firm Arquitecturia.

The waterfront site, situated next to the London Aquatics Centre and ArcelorMittal Orbit, will provide a home for several cultural facilities as part of the huge new cultural and education quarter.

Outline planning application for the scheme is expected to be submitted in December 2016. Building work is due to start in 2018.

Olympicopolis  Smithsonian  V&A  Museum  Gallery 
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Smithsonian in talks to anchor London’s Olympicopolis

The Smithsonian Institute is teaming up with the V&A Museum to create a collaborative permanent exhibition space at London’s Olympicopolis site. The plans, which date back to January 2015, originally called for a stand-alone Smithsonian to act as an anchor for the site upon its opening in 2020/2021. The amended plans now come at significantly less cost to the Smithsonian, with the V&A partnership giving the institution a permanent presence
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The Smithsonian will be part of V&A East
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