Softroom were commissioned to create a fitting setting for one of the world’s finest collections of Islamic Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Our work encompassed both the refurbishment of the gallery, including the roof and floor, as well as the design of all aspects of the exhibition - down to the placement of each individual exhibit.
The displays explain how Islamic art developed from the great days of the Islamic caliphate in the 8th and 9th centuries AD. The collection houses objects spanning the diversity of the Middle East from Spain and Afghanistan to Turkey and Iran - ranging from metalwork and ceramics to organics such as ivory and wood, enamels, textiles and manuscripts.
The design centres around the Ardabil carpet, the world’s oldest dated carpet, and one of the largest, most beautiful and historically important. A unique display case with a floating canopy enables the 10.5 x 5 metre carpet to be seen flat on the ground, as it would originally have been seen. Special glazing and lighting ensure a maximum clarity of view.
'a light-filled and brilliantly designed gallery’
‘the V&A at its absolute best’
'aesthetically harmonious arrangements … a serene, entrancing installation'