London’s revamped children’s museum, the Young V&Apreviously also known as Museum of Childhood.

It is housed in a listed building over 150 years old in the Bethnal Green district of East London and has in its collection objects from 2,300 BC. until today.

For renovation of the museum, architectural firms De Matos Ryan and AOC worked with the project team from the Victoria & Albert Museum as well as 22,000 school students, teachers, families, locals and Special Education Needs and Disabilities groups (SEND).

Addressed to ages up to 14 years oldthe Young V&A is spread over three halls marked by three words in huge letters, Play, Imagine and Design, around a space as a ‘central city square’ under a vaulted ceiling.

Architects from De Matos Ryan added to this space a spiral staircase topped by a striking reflective sphere; they worked with children to design the staircase, which evokes optical illusions from the Victoria & Albert Museum’s collection.

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The hall Design located on the first floor and featuring artwork from various movements, including a colorful poster by artist Keith Haring dedicated to the rights of LGBT+ community and a copy of climate activist Greta Thunberg’s book No One is Too Small to Make a Difference, which was published when Thunberg was 16 years old.

On the ground floor, the hall play, which was created mainly for younger ages. It was designed to have an interactive sandpit and color-coded design objects that invite children to associate them.

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Right across the hall Imagine the AOC office added a 125-seat stage and performance space with a red carpet where kids can dress up and put on their own show.

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“The museum is the first of its kind, continuing to work with teachers and schools and will become a national resource here and across the country to support the teaching of art and design,” said V&A Director Dr. Tristram Hunt.

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