The first ever dedicated design museum in Scotland and the only other V&A museum anywhere in the world outside London: V&A Dundee provides a place of inspiration, discovery and learning through its mission to enrich lives through design. V&A Dundee, Scotland’s first design museum, provides a beautiful new public space, transforming the waterfont.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge officially opened Dundee’s V&A Museum of Design on Tuesday!
The Dundee V&A has a floor area of 8,500 square metres (2.1 acres) and includes a main hall, learning centre, auditorium, temporary exhibition galleries and the permanent Scottish Design Galleries. On the upper floor is a restaurant and outdoor terrace with views over the River Tay.
Traditionally, Dundee is not a city that shouts about its achievements, widely eclipsed in favour of Glasgow’s patter and Edinburgh’s prim posh.
Now though, there’s a new confidence in Dundee’s creative community, with writers celebrating its distinct dialect, street art cropping up in hidden corners and a vibrant music scene has grown from the town’s folk heritage.
V&A Dundee was designed by renowned award-winning Japanese architects Kengo Kuma & Associates, following an international competition, and is Kuma’s first building in the UK. Considered by many as the quintessential Japanese architect of today, Kuma is also designing the stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Kuma’s vision for V&A Dundee is that it will be a welcoming space for everyone to visit, enjoy and socialise in – a ‘living room for the city’ – and a way of reconnecting the city to its historic River Tay waterfront. Along with V&A Dundee, Kuma is involved in a number of large, ongoing projects, including arts centres in Besançon and Granada.
Curving concrete walls (there are no straight external walls) hold 2,500 pre-cast rough stone panels, weighing up to 3000 kg each and spanning up to 4m wide, to create the appearance of a Scottish cliff face. There are 21 separate wall sections. V&A Dundee is an impressive 8,000m² building, with 1,650m² of gallery space.
Beyond its curved walls, V&A Dundee is reconnecting the city with its beautiful and historic riverside. The museum is at the heart of a £1 billion waterfront transformation, an ambitious 30-year project that is propelling the city towards an improved future.
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