The architect of the £80.1 million V&A Museum of Design in Dundee visited the construction site today to see the completed building for the first time ahead of its opening on September 15.
Kengo Kuma, the internationally renowned architect who is also designing the National Stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, met with construction staff from BAM Construct UK who have built the museum and thanked them for their hard work bringing his design to life.
The focus now moves to the interior of V&A Dundee, fitting out the gallery spaces, installing objects and completing other areas including the café and restaurant ahead of the opening.
V&A Dundee will feature an ambitious international programme of changing exhibitions, permanent galleries of Scottish design, new design commissions, as well as community, family and learning activities.
Kengo Kuma said: “I am delighted to return to Dundee and see the completed construction of V&A Dundee.
“Today I am pleased to meet with some of the people who have brought our design to life, and to give my thanks for their hard work in creating this complex structure.
“I love the Scottish landscape and this very beautiful country, and I am proud to be working on this project which will attract people to Dundee from all over the world.”
V&A Dundee is Kengo Kuma’s first building in the UK, which he designed to become a new ‘living room for the city’, an open, welcoming space for everyone. Inspired by the cliffs along the east coast of Scotland, the museum is at the centre of the £1 billion transformation of Dundee’s waterfront.
Philip Long, director of V&A Dundee, said: “V&A Dundee has always been an ambitious project which aims to make an impact not only in Dundee and Scotland, but all around the world.
“Kengo Kuma’s design, which beautifully links the city and the River Tay, is already attracting global interest. I’d like to thank everyone who has worked on this project with its remarkable construction and engineering, including BAM Construct UK, Arup, Turner & Townsend and many, many others.
“Dundee is an exciting, creative city with an incredible history of design innovation. I am proud that our museum can be part of the ongoing regeneration of the city, attracting investment and creating new jobs.”
More than 1,500 people have worked on the construction of the museum over the lifetime of the project, with the majority being local (within 35 miles of the site).
V&A Dundee has created 55 new employment opportunities through its construction, and a further 50 apprentices have worked on the project. The revitalised waterfront area is estimated to create an economic impact of £11.6m per year.
Dundee City Council leader, Councillor John Alexander, said: “Our city is at the centre of unprecedented global attention as anticipation mounts ahead of the September opening of V&A Dundee.
“This demonstrates the transformational impact that the museum of design is already having, as we strive to create new opportunities for people in the city.
“I am delighted that the construction experts who have done so much to realise Kengo Kuma’s vision are receiving praise from the architect for their part in this amazing project during today’s site visit.
“The building shows people how ambitious we are for Dundee and the future of the city.”