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A
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Vault of Contemporary Art
Current
  • All
  • Architecture
  • Interior design
  • Urban design
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Expanding horizons

Vault of Contemporary Art

  • Location Virtual
  • Service Architecture
  • Sector Arts and culture
  • Client Make Architects

The Vault of Contemporary Art (VCA) is a new virtual gallery that celebrates place, process and possibility. Designed to counter the underwhelming offer of digital exhibition spaces made evident during Covid-19 lockdowns, the VCA is a new paradigm in the world of art and architecture. The platform offers a complementary, even parallel, experience to viewing art in person that allows people to enjoy free exhibitions from anywhere in the world, at any time.

Transmitting a sense of place is central to the design of the VCA, which is rooted in a real environment for each exhibition, such as the V&A’s John Madejski Garden. The digital design is informed by architectural and curatorial sensibility, with familiar touch points like materials, scale, views, light and shadow that ground visitors in their new reality. Make designed the VCA as it would a real building, applying the same logic, rigour and precision.

The gallery is composed of 12 pavilions set in a sweeping circular arrangement, with a continuous translucent canopy supported by delicate metal arcs anchored in the central courtyard. Each pavilion, measuring 30 feet high, is built from natural stone and features a single carved-out entrance. Inside, visitors can view high-res images and videos of the artwork and the artists’ process. Easy, autonomous navigation and UX is a priority.

The VCA launched in June 2021 with a V&A exhibition featuring the painter Ben Johnson.

Read MoreRelated
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A new virtual gallery designed with a sense of place at its heart
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Dome of the Rock Triptych, 2017 | Acrylic on canvas | Collection of the Artist, Ben Johnson | 220 x 548cm

Awards

  • Archiboo Awards 2021 Shortlisted – Best Online Experience
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