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Designs revealed for new-look V&A Museum of Childhood

PUBLISHED: 14:36 03 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:36 03 October 2018

Children from Globe Primary School celebrating the latest plans for the V&A Museum of Childhood's redevelopment with Museum Director Rhian Harris.

Children from Globe Primary School celebrating the latest plans for the V&A Museum of Childhood's redevelopment with Museum Director Rhian Harris.

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Plans have been unveiled for the new look V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green.

Children from Globe Primary School compered the event, which unveiled the designs for the new-look museum. Picture: Ken MearsChildren from Globe Primary School compered the event, which unveiled the designs for the new-look museum. Picture: Ken Mears

The designs were created with children from Draper, Globe and Bangabhandu schools, with Year Six pupils from Draper revealing the plans at an event today (Wednesday).

They include a more accessible entrance, more public-facing spaces for exhibits, and the Kaleidoscope, a giant interactive spiral in the main hall inspired by toys from the V&A.

Speaking at the unveiling, museum director Tristram Hunt said: “We’re a leading museum for design and creativity and our vision is to instill creative confidence.

“These plans express the child’s world through art, design and performance. We want to place design at the heart of young people’s lives.

Director of the V&A Tristram Hunt. Picture: Ken MearsDirector of the V&A Tristram Hunt. Picture: Ken Mears

“At a time when one in five children say they’re too busy to play, we should be promoting the value of creativity.”

The museum opened as The Bethnal Green Museum in 1872, and was designed as a space for local, working-class people. During the redesign, that focus on local input was retained, with designs being put forward by primary school children from Bethnal Green.

There’ll be more buggy spaces and lockers by the entrance, a more visible library, and extra space will be used to exhibit the museum’s 26,000 objects.

MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, Rushanara Ali, said: “I’m delighted the team of architects are working with young people in the borough. It’s right that the museum should recognise the huge amount of talent we have here.

The V&A Museum of Childhood will have a more accessible entrance and interactive installation in the main hall under the plans. Picture: Ken MearsThe V&A Museum of Childhood will have a more accessible entrance and interactive installation in the main hall under the plans. Picture: Ken Mears

“I grew up in Wapping and Bethnal Green, and I was one of those children who used to come with my teachers. This museum was more than a museum, it was very much the heart of the community.”

The plans, which cost £13 million, were designed by architectural firm De Matos Ryan, who worked with visitors and community groups to create the final designs.

Architect Angus Morrogh-Ryan said: “We have been careful to seek out people who are less inclined to visit to find out why. We want it to be a legacy of community participation.”

Although no finish date has been set, targets are for the museum to be open by 2022.

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