the full scale of the V&A museum of design, dundee has been revealed after the temporary cofferdam — which allowed the structure to be built into the river tay — was removed. located at the heart of the city’s revitalized waterfront, the form of the kengo kuma-designed institution is inspired by scotland’s rugged cliffs. with a total cost of just over £80 million, the project broke ground in march 2015 has been conceived as a welcoming ‘living room’ that intends to reconnect the city with its historic waterfront.

kengo kuma v a dundee museum
all images by ross fraser mclean, unless otherwise stated

 

 

set to open in 2018, V&A dundee will form an international center for design that will host major exhibitions. the building’s exterior walls are also complete, with all 2,500 cast stone panels now hung on the complex walls, which curve both vertically and horizontally. weighing up to two tonnes each, the panels were made in molds and span up to four meters in length. the size, shape and placement of the panels varies around the building, creating changing patterns of shadows as the sun moves around the museum.

kengo kuma v a dundee museum
the temporary cofferdam — which allowed the structure to be built into the river — has been removed

 

 

V&A dundee is part of the V&A’s UK-wide and international expansion, and will be the only V&A museum anywhere in the world outside london. the new institution will present the story of scotland’s design achievements, bringing together the world-renowned V&A collections with loans from other collections in scotland and beyond.

kengo kuma v a dundee museum
the project is located at the heart of the city’s revitalized waterfront

 

 

‘my inspiration always starts from the place where the project will be,’ explained japanese architect kengo kuma on visiting the construction site. ‘in the past I visited scotland many times, this very beautiful country, and I’m truly in love with the scottish landscape and nature. I really hope once finished this project will attract many people from the UK, and around the world, to the city and the museum.’

 

 

timelapse construction video of the cofferdam being removed | video by rapid visual media

 

 

‘I hope as well that people from dundee will use it as an everyday part of their city; that they will go there to enjoy the building with its surrounding public space and find a harmonious relationship between the museum, the riverside, the city and themselves,’ continues kuma.

kengo kuma v a dundee museum
large areas of glazing are now in place

 

 

‘it is a real pleasure to have the architect of V&A dundee, kengo kuma, with us today to see the incredible progress that has been made in bringing his vision to life,’ added philip long, director of V&A dundee. ‘everyone working on the design and construction should be incredibly proud of what they’ve achieved.’

kengo kuma v a dundee museum
the building’s exterior walls are also complete

 

 

‘V&A dundee has been out in communities across scotland since 2014 with talks, workshops and exhibitions, meeting thousands of people and sharing our passion for the importance of design,’ added long. ‘we can’t wait to welcome everyone when we open the museum next year.’ see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

kengo kuma v a dundee museum
all 2,500 cast stone panels are now hung in place

kengo kuma v a dundee museum
the panels weigh up to two tonnes each

kengo kuma v a dundee museum
the panels were made in molds and span up to four meters in length

kengo kuma v a dundee museum
the form of the new institution is inspired by scotland’s rugged cliffs

kengo kuma v a dundee museum
kengo kuma visited the construction site to check on the building’s progress | image by alan richardson

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