09 Feb 2018
The architect of Scotland’s first design museum has visited the construction site to see the completed building for the first time, ahead of V&A Dundee’s opening on Saturday 15 September.
Kengo Kuma, the internationally renowned architect who is also designing the National Stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, met with construction staff from BAM Construct UK who have built the museum and thanked them for their hard work bringing his design to life.
The focus now moves to the interior of V&A Dundee, fitting out the gallery spaces, installing objects and completing other areas including the café and restaurant ahead of the opening.
V&A Dundee will feature an ambitious international programme of changing exhibitions, permanent galleries of Scottish design, new design commissions, as well as community, family and learning activities.
Kengo Kuma said: “I am delighted to return to Dundee and see the completed construction of V&A Dundee.
“Today I am pleased to meet with some of the people who have brought our design to life, and to give my thanks for their hard work in creating this complex structure.
“I love the Scottish landscape and this very beautiful country, and I am proud to be working on this project which will attract people to Dundee from all over the world.”
V&A Dundee is Kengo Kuma’s first building in the UK, which he designed to become a new ‘living room for the city’, an open, welcoming space for everyone. Inspired by the cliffs along the east coast of Scotland, the museum is at the centre of the £1 billion transformation of Dundee’s waterfront.
Philip Long, Director of V&A Dundee, said: “V&A Dundee has always been an ambitious project which aims to make an impact not only in Dundee and Scotland, but all around the world.
“Kengo Kuma’s design, which beautifully links the city and the River Tay, is already attracting global interest. I’d like to thank everyone who has worked on this project with its remarkable construction and engineering, including BAM Construct UK, Arup, Turner & Townsend and many, many others.
“Dundee is an exciting, creative city with an incredible history of design innovation. I am proud that our museum can be part of the ongoing regeneration of the city, attracting investment and creating new jobs.”
More than 1,500 people have worked on the construction of the museum over the lifetime of the project, with the majority being local (within 35 miles of the site).
V&A Dundee has created 55 new employment opportunities through its construction, and a further 50 apprentices have worked on the project. The revitalised waterfront area is estimated to create an economic impact of £11.6 million per year.
Dundee City Council leader Councillor John Alexander said: “Our city is at the centre of unprecedented global attention as anticipation mounts ahead of the September opening of V&A Dundee.
“This demonstrates the transformational impact that the museum of design is already having, as we strive to create new opportunities for people in the city.
“I am delighted that the construction experts who have done so much to realise Kengo Kuma's vision are receiving praise from the architect for their part in this amazing project during today's site visit.
“The building shows people how ambitious we are for Dundee and the future of the city.”
Over recent months V&A Dundee and the city of Dundee have attracted international media attention, including CNN Style’s ‘World's most anticipated buildings completing in 2018’ and the Wall Street Journal’s ‘Where to travel in 2018’ list. The museum also won a Wallpaper* Design Award.
As well as the permanent Scottish Design Galleries, the museum will feature a changing programme of international exhibitions. The opening exhibition Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and investment managers Baillie Gifford, will explore the designs behind a mode of transport that came to represent the status of nations and the aspirations of millions.
The show, organised by the V&A and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, is the first to explore the design and cultural impact of the ocean liner on an international scale. It will re-imagine the golden age of ocean travel and explore all aspects of ship design from the remarkable engineering, architecture and interiors to the opulent fashion and lifestyle on board.
V&A Dundee is being delivered by an innovative founding partnership of the V&A, Dundee City Council, the University of Dundee, Abertay University and Scottish Enterprise.
It has been established in close partnership with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, drawing on its collections, curatorial expertise and exhibitions. It is run independently with its own Director and, as well as bringing V&A exhibitions to Scotland, it will develop its own exhibitions.
V&A Dundee is being developed with support from the Scottish Government, Heritage Lottery Fund, Dundee City Council, the UK Government, Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, University of Dundee, Abertay University and many trusts, companies and private donors.
The museum will open on Saturday 15 September 2018. The construction programme which started in March 2015 has been delivered on time and on budget.
(Photos by Alan Richardson.)