Creative infrastructure cluster in London’s East Bank

Revolutionising access to collections: The Waterfront Museum will host a pioneering partnership with the Smithsonian Institution

London’s East Bank is one of the UK’s fastest-growing creative communities – and one of the world’s most ambitious new culture and education districts.

Over 2,500 jobs are expected to be created across the development, generating an estimated £1.5 billion for the local economy. Situated in some of London’s fastest-growing and most diverse boroughs, its founding partners include University of Arts London’s College of Fashion and it will also be home to a new venue for Sadler’s Wells, new BBC studios and UCL East, a brand new campus focused on art, society and technology.

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) East, incorporating a new Waterfront Museum and a new Collection and Research Centre, is currently taking shape at East Bank. The Waterfront Museum will host a pioneering partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, producing innovative exhibitions and a jointly curated programme bridging arts, sciences, design and the humanities, as well as collaborative research.

The Collection and Research Centre will consist of a unique storage facility housing 250,000 objects and over 900 archives spanning the breadth of the V&A’s collections, from textiles, fashion, furniture and sculpture to theatre and performance. The goal is to revolutionise access to the V&A’s unique collections through creative design of the facilities. A public network will enable visitors to go behind the scenes to discover the collections and watch research in progress. The centre also aims to serve as an experimental ‘lab’ enabling innovative research and modes of engagement and sharing the collections in ways never previously possible.

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