V&A's hidden facades 'revealed' for first time as AL_A revamp historic Aston Webb Screen

The reinstallation of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s (V&A) Aston Webb Screen – previously a solid stone wall hiding the building’s Victorian boilers – has been completed, breaking down the separation between the street and the museum.

The last stone has now been placed in the modified, newly-open structure; signalling a major milestone in the V&A’s Exhibition Road renovations designed by architects AL_A.

According to the design team, “the screen is no longer a wall that separates, but one that reveals to the public for the first time the three architecturally and historically significant facades” that lie beyond.

The V&A judged the old screen to be restricting crowd flow at a time when numbers of visitors are steadily increasing. Half the museum’s visitors access the site from the newly landscaped Exhibition Road, and the opening up the courtyard space behind the screen will provide a safer gathering point.

AL_A worked closely on the project with specialist stonework contractors PAYE and heritage consultant Giles Quarme & Associates. Each of the screen’s stones, which date back to the 18th century, was documented, catalogued and stored before being re-erected in its new form.

The £49.5m (US$61.6m, €58.2m) Exhibition Road project will open to the public in July. The development – the V&A’s largest in 100 years – also includes a new underground gallery and the redevelopment of the courtyard, adding more than 14,000 ceramic tiles.

Victoria and Museum Museum  Aston Webb Screen  Amanda Levete  London  Exhibition Road  architecture  design 
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The reinstallation of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s (V&A) Aston Webb Screen – previously a solid stone wall hiding the building’s Victorian boilers – has been completed, breaking down the separation between the street and the museum. The last stone has now been placed in the modified, newly-open structure; signalling a major milestone in the V&A’s Exhibition Road renovations designed by architects AL_A. According to the design team, “the screen
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The last stone has now been placed in the modified, newly-open structure / V&A
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