Museum confirms it will take space in Here East in addition to O’Donnell & Tuomey building

Hawkins Brown's Here East

Source: Jason Hawkes

Hawkins Brown’s Here East

The V&A has confirmed it is to occupy two buildings at the Olympic Park – and has begun the hunt for an architect.

The museum announced today it will take space in Here East, the former Olympic press and broadcast centre which is being converted by Hawkins Brown into a home for digital and creative businesses – and the Bartlett.

The museum will publish its brief on Ojeu tomorrow for an architect to design the £25m interior fit-out for its space in Here East, but more details are here and in the box below.

This building is 10 minutes’ walk from its other Olympic Park building, which is being designed by O’Donnell & Tuomey on Stratford Waterfront.

Work on this has been delayed while the £1.3bn development – which is being masterplanned by Allies & Morrison – is redesigned. This was prompted in part by complaints that it would impinge on protected views of St Paul’s Cathedral.

As a result the LLDC revised proposals for the waterfront and the V&A, needing to find space for all the objects in its Blythe House store, had to decide whether to expand the footprint of the O’Donnell & Tuomey building or take a second space.

The decision has now been taken to create a new collection and research centre within Here East.

Here East

Here East

The competition brief responds to the government’s 2015 announcement of its intention to sell Blythe House in Olympia, where the V&A currently stores a huge number of objects.

A spokesperson for the museum said it was a “significant expansion” of their aspirations for the V&A East project.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity to transform access to the V&A’s collection and, subject to ministerial approval, will create an unparalleled, future-facing resource for museum staff and visitors, and particularly the communities of makers, students, researchers, and creatives that live and work nearby,” he said.

Both buildings will be open to the public and programming will be designed to run across both.

V&A deputy director Tim Reeve said: “At the V&A, we want our collection to inspire and empower the next generation of artists, designers and innovators. By making them a central part of our plans for the V&A East project, we hope to transform how they are accessed, and the impact and reach they can have.

“With initial agreements in place with Here East, we are now seeking an architect who can bring our vision for a world-class collection and research centre to life. We look forward to the architectural community’s response, and to moving the project forward once ministers give the green light.”

Stratford Waterfront

Stratford Waterfront

Here East chief executive Gavin Poole said the news was “incredibly exciting”. He added: ”Here East is a unique place, designed specifically to drive collaboration amongst its community of innovators, entrepreneurs, academics and artists. The V&A’s plans present incredible opportunities to our existing community and the public. As the V&A brings together the best of design, culture and technology, Here East offers the platform that will drive greater accessibility to the collection.”

The contest

The V&A is seeking to procure a creative, analytical architect(s) to respond to our challenging brief to create a new Collection and Research Centre at Here East in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. Under the umbrella of V&A East, the V&A is creating two ambitious new public sites; one is a dynamic museum at Stratford Waterfront and the other a major centre for collection, research and learning at Here East (within the former Olympic Broadcasting Centre), both part of the Cultural and Educational District (CED) in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Between four and six architects will be shortlisted.

The winning practice(s) will be appointed to design the collections centre from Stage 1 to 6. However, the V&A reserves the right to phase the project. The below estimated value is based on 8%; please note that the build budget excluding fees is £25m. We estimate that fees for this contract will be between 6% and 8%.

Award criteria: Price is not the only award criterion and all criteria are stated only in the procurement documents            

Estimated value excluding VAT: £1,750,000

EOI deadline: February 23.