For the London Design Festival, award-winning architects Amanda Levete Architects (AL_A) and engineering firm Arup have simultaneously framed and opened up the Cromwell Road entrance to the V&A. The installation is incredibly successful; perhaps surprisingly so, given its simplicity.
Three stories high and 12 meters in diameter, the wave is made of oil-treated American red oak, using laminating techniques traditionally used in furniture making. Its three-dimensional latticework spiral draws you into it… and then into the V&A.
The brief was to respond in some way to the entrance. The recurring structures in the Timber Wave echo the repeated motifs used the design of the entrance. But its asymmetric form brings this approach up-to-date and opens the entrance up to the Cromwell Road and beyond.
The Grand Entrance in particular is vast, multilayered and very ornamental, and the design responds to this with a single dynamic form.