Project London, United Kingdom

Victoria and Albert Museum

Operating within 5.0m of headroom constructing 600mm dia. piles to 26m

Sector: Buildings

The V&A Museum's new exhibition hall required the construction of a secant wall and bearing piles to form the box for the new exhibition space.

Technical Specifications

Pile Type: Secant & Contiguous

Number of Piles: 85no.

Diameter: 600mm

Depth: 26m

The Challenge

The V&A museum's new exhibition hall required a section of the new secant wall to be constructed at 600mm diameter and to 20m depth, in 5.0 m of headroom. 

The ground conditions required deep casings to be installed, and the V&A museum also had a requirement to maintain low levels of vibration due to precious works of art being held within adjacent rooms. 

Using the MP4003 and its low tail-swing, Martello can install large diameter piles in tight conditions.

Paul Gwynne
Managing Director

The Solution

The V&A Museum new exhibition hall required the construction of a secant wall and bearing piles to form the box for new exhibition space. The piles had to achieve an installation verticality tolerance of 1:200. In all, 85 piles were completed within the restricted access area. 

With the 5m of headroom available and the tight working restrictions the MP4000 rigs were ideally suited to work within the Western Range. In particular, the MP4003 rig has a zero tail swing, and could manoeuvre safely in this environment to install the 600mm male/female secant wall. The rig was also able to easily install the 10m of casing required to seal the granular strata within these constraints.

The vibrations produced were within tolerance and were not exceeded at any point during the construction even the 10m of casing necessary.

The strict verticality tolerances were achieved and the programme completed on time to allow the top down excavation to commence. 

Project details

Project name

Victoria and Albert Museum


Governmental, Cultural and Religious


Large diameter bored pile under casing, Restricted access bored piling, Contiguous Pile Wall, Secant Pile Wall

Contract type



London, United Kingdom

Building Period

2014 - 2014

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