Timber Wave by AL_A

Landmark Project

17 — 25 Sept 2011

Architecture / Landscape, Industrial & Product Design, Materials

Victoria & Albert Museum

Cromwell Road



Award-winning architects AL_A and engineering firm Arup transformed the V&A Museum's Grand Entrance on Cromwell Road with the installation of a giant timber wave cascading down the steps, supported by American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC).

Built from oil-treated American red oak, Timber Wave was a three-dimensional latticework spiral, 12 metres in diameter, that employed construction techniques and materials normally used in furniture making to create a majestic three- storey-high structure. 'The brief was to respond in some way to the entrance of the V&A. For us it was about making very explicit the London Design Festival residency there,' said architect Amanda Levete of AL_A. 'We wanted to take the V&A out onto the street.’ The recurring structures within Timber Wave reflected the repeated motif style that is very much part of the didactic tradition of the V&A's own historic facade. The Grand Entrance in particular is vast, multilayered and very ornamental, and the design responded to this with a single dynamic form. Supported by The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and Arup. Further support by SEAM and iGuzzini.