Client Case Studies: Victoria & Albert Museum

The Challenge:

One of the largest and most influential decorative arts museums in the world, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London was founded in 1852 to motivate and educate viewers. It is home to 145 galleries reflecting centuries of achievements in fields such as sculpture, furniture, fashion and photographs. Its exhibitions continue to challenge established views and seek ever-more demanding expressions of beauty, with diverse and often provocative results.

When the museum desired to break its own established boundaries and experiment with new mediums and contemporary art forms in the online world, it chose the Radical Fashion exhibition – a collaboration with 11 world-renowned contemporary fashion designers – to cut through ideas as well as fabric.

Phil Locke, Web Projects Manager at the museum, developed a series of micro sites with 11 videos from the fashion installations. This online version of the exhibition is the first foray into the interactive medium of the Internet. He also added a video component to the Chihuly exhibition, the magnificent contemporary glass art exhibition created by Seattle artist Dale Chihuly, for viewing on the Web. He then faced the task of transferring the carefully and artfully designed exhibitions into an online format.

The Solution:

The Victoria & Albert Museum turned to Globix to stream the video exhibitions over the Internet. "Our biggest concern was the quality of these video broadcasts over the Internet," Locke said. "We did not want to have to compromise the quality or integrity of the original art, and we also had to learn how to use and support a brand new set of sophisticated video applications."

With Globix Streaming Media, the museum benefited from the integrated infrastructure of a service provider that owns its own state-of-the-art Data Centres as well as operating its own backbone network. Globix provided an end-to-end solution, hosting the videos in its secure Data Centres, which are staffed and monitored 24 hours a day, making sure that the content was always available, and delivering the streams over its network optimised for content delivery.

Since the introduction of the video micro sites, the museum has seen a 25 percent increase in hits to its site, vouching for the effectiveness of the online medium attracting people.

"Using the Globix streaming solution, we are able to provide a superior quality of video streaming while maintaining high availability of the content. Outsourcing the streaming application also means that Globix handles the 24 x 7 management and monitoring of the videos from its hosting facilities, which relieves our staff from that burden," Locke said. "Globix service is second to none."