The V&A Dundee is a Scottish museum focused on design and applied arts; the museum’s iconic building was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.
Along with pieces from the Victoria & Albert museum’s permanent collection, in London, V&A Dundee will extensively showcase contemporary art and design from Scotland, thus becoming one of the leading cultural centers in the region.
The museum is scheduled for opening on September 15, 2018.
Kengo Kuma’s building
In 2010, Kengo Kuma and Associates won the competition for the first museum in Scotland devoted to design, prevailing over competitors such as REX, Sutherland Hussey Architects, Steven Holl Architects, Snøhetta and Delugan Meissl Associated Architects. The V&A Dundee is part of a larger redevelopment project of a 240-hectare area on the city’s waterfront.
Located on the River Tay waterfront and encompassing an overall floor area of 8,500 square meters (91,400 square feet), the new museum accommodates 1,650 square meters of exhibition space, education rooms, laboratories, a shop, a cafe, and a restaurant.
The museum’s core is an imposing lobby, a fascinating cavernous space clad in local timber conceived to accommodate concerts, live performances, and other events with a view to make it a welcoming social space for the city and its community.
The ultra-low-carbon building of the museum is heated and cooled by an innovative 800,000 kWh/year hybrid geothermal/air heat pump system.
The three-story iconic building designed by Kuma also features a peculiar facade cladding consisting of 2,500 pre-cast rough stone panels, up to 4m wide, conceived to create the appearance of a Scottish cliff face.
Kengo Kuma at the museum in January 2018; photo Alan Richardson
Collection, permanent exhibition, and program of events and activities
The museum’s permanent galleries present about 300 objects designed in, made in, and/or historically related to Scotland dating from the late Middle Ages to the present.
Comprising furniture, textiles, metal-works, ceramics, fashion items and garments, architectural models and drawings, engineering and digital design objects – pieces on view are presented into three thematic galleries. The first gallery focuses on the collaborative process of conceiving and making design; the second on the influence of design on our society, habits, and everyday life; the third gallery depicts the creative and imaginative side of design.
Iconic objects on show in the permanent exhibitions cover a broad range of themes, from historical applied arts to cutting-edge technology, and include a 15th century Book of Hours illuminated manuscript; the 13-meter-long Oak Room designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for the Ingram Street tearooms in Glasgow in 1907; a diamond-winged tiara made by Cartier for Mary Crewe-Milnes, Duchess of Roxburghe; dresses by Edinburgh-born fashion designer Holly Fulton; an elephant-shaped case designed by influential Scottish artist Eduardo Paolozzi in the early 1970s; video-games created by Glasgow-based studio The Secret Experiment; and snap40, a cutting-edge wearable A.I. device conceived to monitor a hospital patients’ vital signs designed by Christopher McCann and Stewart Whiting.
The program of events and activities the V&A Dundee museum features temporary exhibitions, such as the inaugural exhibition “Ocean Liners: Speed and Style”; educational activities and workshops particularly aimed to children, young people, schools, and families; and special events.
View of the museum from the River Tay; photo Ross Fraser McLean
The V&A Dundee museum’s facade on the River Tye; still from drone filming by Rapid Visual Media
Kengo Kuma and Associates, V&A Dundee, third-floor plan, east elevation, and longitudinal section.
Exterior views of the V&A Dundee; photos Ross Fraser McLean
Rendering of the museum’s lobby
Scale model of the Oak Room designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for the Ingram Street tearooms in Glasgow, whose original full-scale fit-out will be on view at the V&A Dundee
Diamond-winged tiara made by Cartier for the Duchess of Roxburghe in 1935; photo by Jasper “Yogi” Gough
Man’s golf sweater in hand-knitted two-ply wool, Shetland Islands, made in the 1920s
Eduardo Paolozzi, elephant-shaped promotional case in linoleum for a catalog from Nairn Floors, 1972-73
The Snap40 wearable wireless device designed by Christopher McCann and Stewart Whiting which uses artificial intelligence to monitor hospital patients’ vital signs
Cover image V&A Dundee. Exterior view photo Ross Fraser McLean
All images courtesy of V&A, and V&A Dundee.
In this video interview, acclaimed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma expresses his vision of architecture and the role of architects in today’s world
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