Newsletter - Links - Advertise - Contact Us - Privacy

Dundee V&A previewed ahead of weekend launch spectacular

September 12 2018

Dundee V&A previewed ahead of weekend launch spectacular

The city of Dundee is braced for the long-awaited opening weekend of the V&A with tickets already sold out for museum entry across the opening weekend.

Designed by Kengo Kuma the £80.1m waterfront development is expected to draw crowds of up to 20,000 people when it officially opens on Friday as part of a waterfront-wide family festival.

Kuma said: “The big idea for V&A Dundee was bringing together nature and architecture, to create a new living room for the city.  I’m truly in love with the Scottish landscape and nature. I was inspired by the cliffs of north-eastern Scotland – it’s as if the earth and water had a long conversation and finally created this stunning shape.
"It is also fitting that the restored Oak Room by Charles Rennie Mackintosh is at the heart of this building as I have greatly admired his designs since I was a student. In the Oak Room, people will feel his sensibility and respect for nature, and hopefully connect it with our design for V&A Dundee.
“I hope the museum can change the city and become its centre of gravity. I am delighted and proud that this is my first building in the UK and that people will visit it from around the world.”

The angular build is defined through the use of horizontal cast stone panels to achieve a muscular look, punching 45ft out into the River Tay in the manner of a granite cliff, typical of the east coast.

This will provide a dramatic backdrop to a day of frenetic creative activity on Saturday with performances from local music talent, choral collaborations and makerspace workshops in Slessor Gardens to open the 3D festival, shorthand for Dundee, Design and Discovery.

Attention is now turning to the next phase of waterfront renewal with plans for an ‘urban beach’ to further integrate the museum with Slessor Gardens.

Crowds of up to 20,000 are expected to be drawn on Friday
Crowds of up to 20,000 are expected to be drawn on Friday
Photography by Rapid Visual Media
Photography by Rapid Visual Media

Photography by ©Hufton+Crow
Photography by ©Hufton+Crow
Photography by ©Hufton+Crow
Photography by ©Hufton+Crow

Photography by ©Hufton+Crow
Photography by ©Hufton+Crow
Photography by ©Hufton+Crow
Photography by ©Hufton+Crow

Photography by ©Hufton+Crow
Photography by ©Hufton+Crow


Brian Sewell
#1 Posted by Brian Sewell on 12 Sep 2018 at 08:54 AM
Best wishes to all involved.
Nairn's Bairn
#2 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 12 Sep 2018 at 10:19 AM
Some images here:
Nairn's Bairn
#3 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 12 Sep 2018 at 11:04 AM
Kuma's inspiration source of a Scottish sea cliff is carried through here nicely - the building looks great. Striking but with a bit of Presbyterian reserve. Solid.

It's a shame we couldn't have achieved similar success with the Scottish Parliament buildings, where the design cues are only appreciable from the air - at human level they're lost, other than the baffling bolt-on bamboo. (I always felt Benson & Forsyth did a much better job of creating an identifiably ‘Scottish’ public building up the road).

The V & A looks sturdily detailed throughout and less likely to date, which for an iconic (oh yes) building designed in part to draw visitors to Dundee, is a very good thing. I can’t wait to get in about it and have a poke around.
Bill S
#4 Posted by Bill S on 12 Sep 2018 at 11:36 AM
This is great for Dundee. They have really developed as a City over the last 15 years or so with their forward looking arts, culture, university and subsequent residential and commercial areas flourishing.

This is something Aberdeen City Council should hang their heads in shame and reflect upon as they move forwards with soulless, out-of-town ticky-tacky housing developments, shopping mall expansions and the loss of Pittodrie.
John Hughes
#5 Posted by John Hughes on 12 Sep 2018 at 17:00 PM
Wishing The V&A great success on the opening day! and for the future. Congratulations to everyone involved.
#6 Posted by Liz on 13 Sep 2018 at 09:29 AM
Nice to see a truly iconic building in Urban Realm instead of the soulless boxes which pass for architecture nowadays.
#7 Posted by Hilloch on 13 Sep 2018 at 11:54 AM
Well done Dundee! Great stuff.

#4 don't expect Aberdeen to change anytime soon. They've had multiple chances with front and centre creative interventions and have turned their nose at it. Oh well, tally ho to the next blood sucking squandering of an oil bonanza via further ill advised and unnecessary indoor add on 'malls', cos people don't want to be outside, no sir let's get them inside where they can cook in the juices of huge car parks, happy developers and a desperately confused (ill advised?) ACC. Meantime poor old Union Street continues its parallel decline...for shame
#8 Posted by Wondering on 13 Sep 2018 at 12:14 PM
Fantastic Contribution to the wonderful city of Dundee.
However, it does look like this suffered a bit of a V.E exercise along the way. Is it just me or is the entrance foyer just missing a true architectural statement? Seems a little foodcourt like and not much in the way of world class standard. The lift plotted in the centre of the space looks like an afterthought. Not exactly sure of the function/ purpose of the timber slatted internal facing? Does anyone know?Internally, this looks like a missed opportunity. Anyone else agree?
Walt Disney
#9 Posted by Walt Disney on 13 Sep 2018 at 16:45 PM
Internal spaces look good and it's externals are already a well kent part of Dundee. Soft landscaping and the stagnant water look a bit mean though and the main entrance space is really spoiled by the whole cafe / shop vibe.

I think one of the great successes of the Burrell was that the restaurant was secreted round the side and down stairs. The whole space is going to smell of Panini and coffee accompanied by clanking crockery and greeting bairns.
Concerned Parent
#10 Posted by Concerned Parent on 14 Sep 2018 at 09:45 AM
My over inquisitive bairn is going to love climbing those wooden slats
23 degree wall, perfect for climbing
Concerned Parent No More
#11 Posted by Concerned Parent No More on 16 Sep 2018 at 01:00 AM
I have to put my hand up and confess I was wrong. The building is better and much more. After seeing Kengo Kuma's enlightening talk at the University on Friday afternoon and experiencing the building on the opening day, I am completely won over. Well done to all those involved. It is such a fantastic building and I hope that many Architects will come to Dundee. A good article in the Guardian by Kevin McKenna

Post your comments


All comments are pre-moderated and
must obey our house rules.


Back to September 2018

Search News
Subscribe to Urban Realm Magazine
Features & Reports
For more information from the industry visit our Features & Reports section.