If you ask what's the most complex and largest museum of decorative arts and design in the world it's got to be V&A museum.
The history of designing and building is very colmplex and can be subdivide to few periods.
Victorian period :
The museum of decorative arts and design was first created in existing building Marlborough House but as it later transpired it was to small for constantly increasing number of students and new land located to the south of Hyde Park( Brompton Park House area then) was purchased in 1954 with profits from the 1851 Great Exhibition.
The very first design was put forward by Prince Albert himself (his building was hidiously ugly and visiously called the boilers) then the proffesionals took over the job, James Pennethorne and the works were supervised by Francis Fowke.
The museum in victorian style was first open for the publiuc in 1857 as the south Kensington Museum.During those times there were several further extensions built to main building, additional wings and finally internal courtyard .
Each part of building widely decorated by famous artists and designers like: Lord leigthton( none existing now frescoes)
Owen Jones( decoration of additional galeries), F.W Moody ( ceramic decorated staircase)
With the death of Francis Fowke , Henry Young Darracott Scott became architect responsible for further additions.
In 1899 -1909 the part of the building that creates the main facade that stretches across the Cromwell Gardens was designed and built by architect Aston Webb - with main entrance in mix of renaissance and medieval syle shallow arches, slender columns and curved nishes surrounding the twin main entrance doors ( some reliefs curved by Alfred Drury)
The architect also designed an open work crown surmounted by a statue of fame.
Although the main hall by Aston Webb makes much use of marble, the internal decoration of new galleries was mostly white with restrained classical detail and much purer than the one of Victorian times.
Recently, the competition for a new extension called Spiral was anounced and the winning architectural practice was Daniel Liebeskind studio, unfortunately project was abandomned as the project was concidered by many as out of keeping with the architecture of the original buildings.
In 2005 the internal garden in the courtyard was re-designed by Kim Wilkie and opened as the John Madejski Garden.
The complex of Victoria & Albert Museum buildings together with neighbouring Science Museum and Natural History Museum, creates area which is often called Albertopolis .
Its collection of art and design is one of the largest in the world , and you can find here originals and copies of masterpieces of art from all periods, of all styles.
It is not possible to visit it all during one weekend.