ABOUT this project
As architects we debated and toyed at length with the idea of how to extend the V & A aquarium experience into its retail outlet so that the store is not simply ‘a shop at the entrance’ or an ’after’ consequence of the aquarium experience. Visually this environment is an adventurous, fun space, the object is perceived by the visitor defining the space before it is perceived as a retail outlet, a space of interest that the viewer thinks, “wow, what is this thing?” The ‘thing’ is indescribable in simple ‘this’ or ‘that’ terms. It is at once part of the under-water-world, part of the beach, sand; part of the shell collection, a sea and shore experience. Its shape speaks of the inside of a whale, a mollusk, an ancient conch - it evokes a querying intrigue.