IN: Inspiration

Scotland’s First Design Museum

V&A Dundee features a façade of breath-taking proportions – featuring 2,500 concrete panels….


Rising from the banks of the River Tay, Scotland’s first design museum, V&A Dundee, looks strikingly like the hull of a giant sea vessel. Japanese architect Kengo Kuma’s ambitious project was unveiled at the museum’s opening on Saturday 15 September 2018. Clad in 2 500 concrete panels, V&A Dundee is a sublime edifice with a sharp and angular visage that contrasts with the nearby river.

Scenes from nature inspired Kuma’s design. "I'm truly in love with the Scottish landscape and nature," he says. "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."

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With its bold exterior, one cannot but note the strong similarities between V&A Dundee and architect Frida Escobedo’s Serpentine Pavilion, unveiled in London in June 2018. Both designs include prominent, statement surfaces with a focus on concrete panels.

V&A Dundee comprises two large, inverted pyramids on the outside. Inside, sharp corners give way to a large wood-panelled entrance hall and a patterned black stone floor at ground level, which is one of the main gathering spaces. Upstairs houses a temporary interchangeable space and the Scottish Design Gallery, which is home to 300 items including Scottish designs and the V&A Museum’s own artefacts.

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Based in South Kensington, London (UK), the famous V&A Museum holds over 2.3 million objects including many of the UK’s national collections. The world’s top museum for art and design also holds an impressive selection of resources for the study of furniture, fashion, textiles, architecture, sculpture, painting, ceramics and much more. V&A Dundee is the first outpost of the V&A outside of the capital and Scotland has high hopes for this new gem.

“V&A Dundee presents a unique and major opportunity for the city of Dundee,” says John Alexander, Dundee City Council Leader. “We are predicting an economic boost in the city, estimated in the region of £11.6 million a year, and the creation of 361 extra jobs across Scotland, 249 of which will be in Dundee.”

Learn more about V&A Dundee:

Photo credits: ©Hufton+Crow

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