AOC completes detailed drawings for fit-out tender

The V&A has put fit-out firms on notice for the £13m transformation of the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood .

Work on the structure has already begun, with the site handed over to contractor Quinn London last month.

The revamp has been designed by de Matos Ryan with AOC responsible for the interiors.

AOC is currently completing final detailed drawings for construction tender for the fit-out which is scheduled for “early autumn”.

V&A director Tristram Hunt called the start of construction a “critical milestone in the most ambitious transformation of the museum in its history”.

The museum issued a new set of renders by AOC yesterday and announced it was renaming itself Young V&A. It also announced a string of acquisitions including a skateboard owned by 13-year-old Tokyo Olympic medallist Sky Brown.

The work will not be completed in time for its 150th anniversary next year although activities will be programmed in local schools and elsewhere. The V&A said the museum would reopen in 2023.

De Matos Ryan was appointed in early 2018 to design a base build, including structural changes, restoration of the grade II* building, upgrades to lighting and acoustics and new workshop spaces.

It beat a shortlist that included Heneghan Peng, Jestico & Whiles, Pringle Richards Sharratt, conservation specialists Simpson & Brown Architects and Opera Amsterdam. The proposals won planning consent in 2019. AOC was appointed that same year.

The plans include three new galleries called Play, Imagine and Design, interactive collection displays, learning workshops, an in-gallery design studio for visitors, a basement reading room and a new café and shop. Imagine will feature an amphitheatre-style stage, Design will have a working studio for children to experiment in, while Play will have a free-play construction area.

The project is much larger in scope than Caruso St John’s celebrated 2006 scheme which focused on the lower floors and added the distinctive entrance hall.

Work is also progressing on V&A East at the £1.1bn East Bank cultural quarter in Stratford where it will have two new buildings – the Waterfront Museum, which is being designed by O’Donnell & Tuomey, and the Collection & Research Centre at Here East, by Diller Scofidio & Renfro.