It was overshadowed by the Pritzker announcement, but the Victoria & Albert Museum announced Monday that Amanda Levete has won the competition to create a new courtyard and gallery space for the museum along Exhibition Road in London. Levete formerly was a partner with Jan Kaplický in Future Systems, and her firm, AL_A, was one of seven shortlisted for the award after 110 firms expressed interest in the commission. “Ever since I became an architect I’ve dreamed of working on a project like this that has huge and cultural and public significance” Levete said, “and the V&A has a particular meaning for me in any case because it’s the home of art and architecture so it doesn’t really get much better than that.”
14 years ago, Daniel Libeskind was probably thinking happy thoughts about V&A after his extension for the museum (on the same site) was announced. Over the course of seven years, politics strangled Daniel Libeskind’s then-winning design. Levete said in an interview it was a “great building in the wrong place.” Not too surprisingly, her firm’s now-winning proposal shares almost nothing in common with the “downward spiral.” For starters, the AL_A scheme is mostly underground. But more importantly, Levete’s proposal will be built.