Building planning & design
Case Studies

Victoria & Albert Museum


Project Director
Maximo Martinez

Amanda Levete Architects


© Hufton + Crow

The opportunity

The Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum is the world’s leading museum of art and design. It’s latest FuturePlan Project (FuturePlan is the V&A’s long term strategy to improve the visitor experience) is the creation of a new entrance and courtyard from Exhibition Road and a new exhibition gallery.

The museum and its design team, led by Amanda Levete Architects, had concerns over visitor flow and capacity within the new spaces and the impact of the proposed designs on the overall circulation of the museum. Space Syntax was asked to assess the capacity of circulation spaces in the existing and new layouts and to advise on circulation within the wider museum.

Our contribution

Space Syntax’s Visitor Circulation and Design Impact Study comprised three elements:

1. Visitor Flow Survey using data from direct observations to establish a Visitor Flow Profile (volume, density, capacity, temporal variation) for the proposed designs

2. Flow Capacity Assessment of the proposed designs using Fruin’s Level of Service and Transport for London’s Pedestrian Comfort Level standards

3. Spatial Impact Analysis of the effects of the proposed designs on visitor flow patterns in the wider museum using Space Syntax’s Spatial Accessibility Analysis.

Our evidence-based assessment was used to support stakeholder discussions and reinforce the planning application.

The outcome

The Visitor Circulation and Design Impact Study demonstrated that the proposed scheme would provide sufficient capacity for the expected visitor flows. Planning permission was granted in July 2012. The new entrance, courtyard and gallery opened in June 2017.

Proposed, Ground Floor
Proposed, First Floor
Spatial Accessibility Analysis - Existing, Ground Floor
Existing, First Floor