The museum is set to open in 2025. Photograph: V&A Museum

Local residents will soon have a breathtaking new museum to enjoy in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The building that will house V&A East can now be seen at its full height following its ‘topping out’ on 14 December.

Designed by O’Donnell + Tuomey, the edifice now stands 42.5 metres high.

The steel-framed structure was inspired by an x-ray of a 1954 Cristóbal Balenciaga silk taffeta evening dress taken by photographer Nick Veasy, alongside the architects’ explorations of the Japanese concept of ‘Ma’ or ‘the space between’.

An artist’s impression of the new museum.
Image: O’Donnell + Tuomey, Ninety90, 2018

The intricate construction comprises 2,051 individual pieces of steel with geometric scored panels of pre-cast concrete on the exterior.

A ‘ribbon of design’ will wrap around the museum’s interior, filled with collection objects and commissions, extending the gallery experience into the circulation spaces as visitors ascend the building.

Architect John Tuomey said: “V&A East Museum’s steel skeleton, with all its complex geometry, is now complete. The concrete panels, with all their lines and shadows, are being carefully assembled on site.

“The topping out of the structure marks the moment when we can begin to see some flesh on the bone.

“We now begin to see the shape and surface texture of the new museum, to feel its civic presence on Waterfront Square and register its visual impact across the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.”

Set across five floors and 7,000 square feet, V&A East Museum will include a main exhibition hall that will present thematic shows celebrating global artists, designers and performers.

Two collection galleries will explore global and local making, with new acquisitions, commissions and live activations presented alongside collection displays.

There will also be an installation and events space on the top floor, a café, shop and three outdoor terraces with views across the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The new museum will join V&A East Storehouse which is set to launch at Here East in 2024.

For more information, visit vam.ac.uk/east.

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