Wates tackles enormity and extraordinary change as it breathes new life into the V&A Museum
Wates Group is one of the largest privately-owned construction, development and property services companies in the UK.
This British business was awarded the privilege of breathing new life into an historic institution as the V&A planned its future facilities and updated its entrance and visitor areas for the modern age.
Wates uses Powerproject from Elecosoft to plan and programme its projects, of which this was a complex, high-profile and extremely challenging example.
Its exemplary project management and on-time delivery of this significant project gained team leader Neil Lock the coveted top CMYA award, as well as a Gold medal – and, even more importantly, delighted its client.
This exciting project to build a vast new underground gallery and Exhibition Road main entrance to the landmark Victoria & Albert Museum was much anticipated by the institution itself and by the public. In January 2014, Wates won the opportunity to take on the £28m gallery and courtyard construction challenge which was to prove enormous in scale and complexity – but deliver huge reward and satisfaction.
The project spanned the next three years, completing in May 2017 and opening in June of that year.
The overall project saw the Exhibition Road side of the V&A come into view, instead of being hidden behind a forbidding grey stone wall, with new gates to a porcelain-tiled courtyard, with a bright glassed in café area – and all located above a huge new subterranean gallery.
Just one year after opening it was credited with helping the V&A to buck the trend of declining museum visitor numbers, driving up its own figures by a phenomenal 26% and improving the visitor experience.
Neil Lock MCIOB led the initial Wates bid, and project manager for the V&A initiative, using Powerproject for planning, progress management, and to support reporting throughout.
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