V&A open new Members' Room

The Victoria and Albert Museum opened its new Members’ Room on Monday.

Previously a study room in the 1900s, and later the National Art Library offices, the Members’ Room has been converted into a new space dedicated to members of the V&A.

Architects Carmondy Groarke was enlisted to create the top-lit gallery on the top floor of Aston Webb’s grade I listed 1909 wing. The new room is kitted out with bespoke design furniture and fittings.

Members will be able to relax in the refurbished room which will act as a café, restaurant and bar. The menu provided by Benugo, offers breakfast lunch and dinner and includes options for kids. For the grownups, a marble bar runs down the length of the room offering Prosecco on tap.

V&A new Members' Room, (c) Rory Gardiner

Carmondy Groarke has successfully fused innovative modern design with the traditional structure of the building. Bespoke lighting and furniture remind visitors that they are in the 21st Century, while the elements of the original gallery have been maintained to hold on to the character of the original building.

V&A new Members' Room, (c) Rory Gardiner

Staying true to the overall feel of the museum, the Member’s Room includes aspects from across the V&A. This includes reclaimed parquet flooring which has been raised by half a metre to enable guests to take a peek of the view offered from the existing windows overlooking The Sackler Courtyard, the world’s first porcelain public courtyard.

Carmondy Groake has reinterpreted original light fittings to create new fluted-glass lamps which hang down from the ceiling in clusters.  Mirror installations amplify the open plan space, presenting new perspectives inside the room and out.

V&A new Members' Room, (c) Rory Gardiner

Located above the museum’s 20th Century collection, the furniture in the Members’ Room gives a nod to this time period. The most notable piece is a chair which is a recommission of Finnish architect Alvar Aalto’s stackable 403 armchair from the early 1930s.

V&A new Members' Room,(c) Rory Gardiner

The renovation comes after the museum saw a surge in new members after recent popular exhibitions such as David Bowie Is, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty and Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains, and the launch of the V&A Exhibition Road Quarter this summer. Entry to the room will be part of the benefit package for V&A members which also includes entry to exhibitions, a 10% discount in the V&A Shop, a range of dedicated events and subscription to the V&A Magazine.

Progressive Media International Limited. Registered Office: 40-42 Hatton Garden, London, EC1N 8EB, UK.Copyright 2021, All rights reserved.