Scheme due to open 2025

Mace has topped out the V&A East Museum in Stratford.

The museum, designed by O’Donnell & Tuomey, reached its full height of 42.5m. The five-storey museum’s complex steel structure, built by Bourne Steel, is also now complete. It weighs 1,600 tonnes and comprises 2,051 pieces.

Since breaking ground in August 2019, construction has continued almost uninterrupted, despite the pandemic.

V&A East Museum tops out in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Dec 2021 (c) Victoria and Albert Museum

Source: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

V&A East Museum tops out at full-height on East Bank in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Other key milestones include the construction of core inner walls, stairwells and lift cores. In November, the installation of pre-cast concrete panels began on the exterior walls, made by Techrete in North Lincolnshire. The pre-cast panels weigh up to 11 tonnes and are up to 11.5 metres long.

The design is said to have been inspired by an x-ray of a 1954 Cristóbal Balenciaga silk taffeta evening dress taken by photographer Nick Veasy, alongside the architects’ explorations into the Japanese concept of “Ma” or “the space between”. The staircase will run between the façade and the floorplates.

The museum, a sister to the original V&A in South Kensington and Kengo Kuma’s Dundee outpost, built by Bam, will showcase local and international makers and highlight under-represented voices as well as staging major exhibitions and performances.

Next year will see the completion of the installation of pre-cast façade panels and windows and begin to implement plans for the interior and gallery fit-out with a tender out for a main contractor for the fit-out of front of house spaces

The museum, on the Allies & Morrison-masterplanned Stratford Waterfront, will sit alongside new buildings for the BBC, London College of Fashion, Sadler’s Wells and UCL, as part of the £1.1bn East Bank cultural district. It is due to open in 2025.