The V&A Porter Gallery in London
The Porter Gallery in the V&A Museum London will house the contemporary program of the V&A over the next ten years. The gallery, designed by Block Architecture, is situated next to the V&A's Grand Entrance and is separated from it by dramatic seven-metre-high rotating entrance doors clad in black carbon fibre.
The entrance to the space below creates a transitional lobby where a perceptual shift from the V&A proper to the contemporary program is allowed to occur. It has been designed to offer different forms of access to the gallery through five seven-metre high rotating screens. The screens can be reconfigured to the curatorial needs of each exhibition and are clad in reflective black carbon fibre sheeting, a very lightweight skin more commonly found in aircraft manufacture. The existing central lantern light was an opportunity for structural intervention. The roof of the envelope is supported by over three thousand one-millimetre cables carrying the centre-point in the span. This allows the structural elements to be as slender and lightweight as possible. This aspect of the project also created an opportunity for the practice to develop its interest in phenomenological architecture where the density of the cables begins to form a miasmic, mist-like structure that hovers above the roof and is visible from within the gallery.