London's Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum has unveiled its new spaces on the site's Exhibition Road Quarter following a £55 million programme of works.
The complex comprises a new entrance, underground gallery space and porcelain courtyard – made with 11,000 handmade tiles – and is the work of Stirling Prize-winning architect Amanda Levete and her London-based firm AL_A.
The tiles cover the 1,200-sqm Sackler Courtyard and were designed by the Dutch company Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum, with 15 diverse patterns and glaze tones based on the layout of the courtyard's original support trusses.
Another significant aspect of the redesign is the removal of colonnade erected over a century ago to conceal the museum's boiler rooms. A reduced version of the stone screen has been rebuilt featuring a pattern that recalls the shrapnel damage it suffered during world war two.
The courtyard will be used to showcase large-scale sculpture in addition to providing outdoor seating and offering views of three V&A façades that were previously hidden.
The revamp is the V&A's largest expansion in more than a century and provides the museum with an extra 6,400 sqm of visitor space.