Kengo Kuma’s V&A Dundee Museum of Design is nearing completion

Kengo Kuma’s V&A Dundee Museum of Design is nearing completion

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Kengo Kuma & Associates was first selected as the winner of a competition in 2010 to design Scotland’s iconic building by beating top international architects, including Steven Holl Architects, REX, Snøhetta, Delugan Meissl Associated Architects, and Sutherland Hussey Architects. The project was approved by the City Council in 2012. The original price tag of the building was first set at £45 (over $62 million USD) but later its cost were later estimated at £80.11 million (over $111 million USD). Construction work began on site in 2015 but the project has seen long delays due to its double budget for 7 years. After receiving an extra £20 million funding from the government in 2016, the new funding boosted some improvements and the remaining construction work on site.

Kengo Kuma's V&A Dundee Museum of Design is nearing completion 1-min

Kengo Kuma's V&A Dundee Museum of Design is nearing completion 1-min
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The original price tag of the building was first set at £45 but later its cost were estimated at £80.11 million. Construction work began on site in 2015 but the project has seen long delays due to its double budget for 7 years. After receiving an extra £20 million funding from the government in 2016, the new funding boosted both - improvements and the remaining construction work on site
photographs: Ross Fraser McLean

Acclaimed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma’ V&A Dundee Museum of Design is nearing completion in the city of Dundee in the northern part of Scotland, United Kingdom. It has officially been announced that the V&A Dundee will open to public on September 15, 2018, which will be the first V&A division located outside of London. Newly-released images show that approximately 90% of the structure is almost complete, which is made up of 2,500 cast stone panels now hung on the walls, giving a curve both vertically and horizontally

The architect’s complex geometry is inspired by the dramatic cliffs along the east coast of Scotland. It stretches out into River Tay – a new landmark reconnecting the city with its historic waterfront, and a major new cultural development for Scotland and the UK. The V&A Dundee Museum of Design will feature permanent galleries of Scottish design, as well as an ambitious international programme of changing exhibitions showcasing the very best of design from around the world, new design commissions, fast-changing installations by emerging designers and creative projects developed through learning programme for all our audiences. At the heart of V&A Dundee, the Scottish Design Galleries will present the story of Scotland’s exceptional and international design heritage. Curated in collaboration with the V&A, these galleries will be free to enter and feature around 300 exhibits drawn from the remarkable collections of the V&A, as well as from museums and private collections across Scotland and the world, covering architecture, ceramics, engineering, fashion, furniture, healthcare, jewellery, textiles, videogame design and more.

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. Despite the fact that there are no images posted from the interiors till now, Kengo Kuma’s previous renderings show that the firm designed a large horizontal “hole” in the centre of the building. This “hole” represents an attempt to connect Union Street which runs through the centre of Dundee with the beautiful natural scenery of the River Tay. This feature was adopted in order to create a 21st century type cultural facility that is an integral part of the environment and community which replaces 20th century type art museums that were cut off from the environment.

The outer skin of the museum is wrapped by a distinguishing panel feature – each weighing between 1.5 and 2.5 tonnes, inspired by the cliffs of Scotland’s coastline. The foyer was designed as a large void that is covered with locally available wood that has a soft texture with the intention that it be used as a “Living Room” capable of revitalizing the community by providing a venue where various concerts and performances are held. At the centre of these galleries will stand Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s magnificent Oak Room, fully restored and preserved for future generations in a partnership with Glasgow Life. The 13.5-metre-long panelled room was originally designed for Miss Cranston’s Ingram Street tearooms in Glasgow in 1907, before being saved  and placed in storage in hundreds of pieces – almost 50 years ago. Other key objects in the Scottish Design Galleries will include a beautifully decorated 15th century Book of Hours, a spectacular Cartier ‘Valkyrie’ diamond tiara, original Beano artworks from Dundee publishers DC Thomson, and the snap40 digital device which is designed to improve healthcare.

The new museum enables V&A’s most ambitious exhibitions to be shared more widely across the UK. The opening exhibition Ocean Liners: Speed & 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. Further exhibition announcements will be made ahead of the museum’s opening.

All images © Ross Fraser McLean, courtesy of V&A Dundee, except otherwise stated