Quinn London replaces Victorian roofing at V&A Museum as refurbishment continues

Quinn London is currently delivering the logistically complex replacement of the 1,600 sq m Victorian roofing at the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington, London. The latest in a series of intricate projects for the V&A, this project involves the complete replacement of the Georgian wire pyramid glazed roofing over both the North Court and Gallery 38; the latter, previously known as South Court, is one of the museum’s most celebrated spaces.

Specialist techniques are being employed to protect the existing – and delicate – structure, including dry ice blasting to remove old paint which is both faster and more environmentally friendly than more traditional methods. The structural steel frames are being meticulously refurbished by our renovation experts, and strengthening of the structural works is also underway. New glass will be fitted to replace the aged roof cover.

Paul Jordan, our Contracts Manager comments:

“Our restoration work at the V&A has at times been incredibly complex, both in the logistical planning of major construction in a location that throughout has remained open to the public, as well as in the complexity and intricacies of the renovations being undertaken on such an important historic building. Quinn is proud of its collaborative work with the V&A over the last 6 years and our work here is a testament to the expertise of our heritage experts.”

Previous projects at the V&A have included the restoration and modernisation of a series of galleries which are now home to the museum’s photography collection. Just one first floor window provided the route for materials and tools to be passed through to the site from delivery vans outside; all equipment and material had to be in place before the museum opened to the public at 10am – no closures took place during the works. In addition, our team had to carefully consider the safety of the precious items on display throughout the route.

At the Kusuma Gallery, part of the Photography Centre, our experts delivered on Gibson Thornley Architects’ vision for a modern library space. We increased the display space – home to the museum’s priceless collection of photographic books – through the replacement of floors and ceilings and the construction of bridging walkways on the mezzanine level featuring balustrades created from brass rods. The space was awarded Best Public Building Interior at the World Architecture Festival in December 2023.

Our heritage experts were also responsible for the impressive renovation and restoration of the famous Raphael Gallery, the project completed in late 2020. This project involved extensive architectural and acoustic remediation as well as upgrades to electrical and lighting systems, all while working around the precious Renaissance artworks which remained in place. Scaffolding was especially designed to avoid damage to the floor, walls and ceiling, while bespoke coverings were created to protect the invaluable Raphael pieces. The finished project provides an astonishing space for these historic paintings.