September opening date for Dundee’s £80m V&A museum

Architect Kengo Kuma during a visit to the V&A Museum last year

Dundee’s £80.1 million V&A Museum of Design will open its doors to the public for the first time on September 15, it was revealed today.

Designed by Kengo Kuma, the Japanese architect who also designed the Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium, and being developed by BAM Construction, the project is only the second V&A museum anywhere outside of London.

Since construction started in April 2015, key milestones achieved include the completion of a coffer dam which enabled the foundation construction for the part of the building that will sit out over the Tay, groundworks on the former reclaimed dock site, piling for the ground source heating system and remodelling of the river wall.

Kengo Kuma visited the project in October, shortly after the removal of the coffer dam, as he saw his vision inspired by Scotland’s cliffs revealed for the first time.

The museum’s first visiting exhibition from the V&A London will be Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, which explores the design of some of the world’s most famous ships including The Titanic, Normandie, the Queen Mary and the Canberra.

Announcing the opening date this morning, V&A Dundee director, Philip Long, said: “After many years of planning for V&A Dundee, we are absolutely thrilled to announce the date of the new museum’s opening.

“In just eight months we will be opening the doors and welcoming our first visitors. V&A Dundee is set to be a vital new cultural organisation for Dundee, the UK and beyond, helping to change understanding of just how important design and creativity are to people’s lives. We are enormously grateful to all our supporters for helping to make this happen.

“V&A Dundee brings something new to Scotland. It is the country’s first museum dedicated to design, which visitors will be able to experience and get involved with in very many ways.

“Particularly important is that the new museum enables major V&A exhibitions to be seen more widely by more people across the UK.

“So I am especially excited that part of V&A Dundee’s opening programme will be the breath-taking exhibition Ocean Liners: Speed & Style, the first of many ambitious exhibitions at V&A Dundee that will show how our lives have been – and always will be – shaped by design.”

New industrial units approved in Dundee

A former industrial site in Dundee’s Coldside area is set for a new lease of life after plan for new industrial units were given the green light.

Dundee City Council planners have given permission to Dundee Industrial Association (DIA) to build 34 general industrial units at 46–48 Loons Road.

Lynne Short, convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee, said: “Dundee Industrial Association plays an important role in the city adding to the mix, availability and affordability of business units for a wide variety of enterprises.

“DIA was set up in 1983 to help local enterprises, start- up firms and individuals by providing business properties with flexible lease terms not normally provided by commercial undertakings and this approval will help them to continue to deliver that work.”

As well as ensuring that any land contamination is identified and dealt with, planners have imposed a number of other conditions to ensure that disturbance to neighbours is kept to a minimum and traffic can safely enter and exit the site.

Will Dawson, convener of the city’s planning committee, added: “This site, which was formerly North Tay Works, has been used for industrial purposes for many years so it is important that the conditions we have imposed to investigate and clean up any contamination are met.”

As part of the development the council has said that electric car charging points should be provided. Details of how many and where they will be located should be approved before the development opens.

Planning bid for 43 homes on former Dundee school site

Abertay Housing Association has unveiled proposals to deliver 43 new homes on the former site of a primary school in Dundee.

Detailed plans submitted to Dundee City Council’s planning department indicate that the homes, situated at the former Charleston Primary School on South Road, will be a mix of terraced, semi-detached and detached homes with two or three bedrooms.

There will also be cottage flats with ground-floor wheelchair provision, to ensure that those with additional needs are adequately supported.

Designed by Oliver and Robb Architects, the homes will be developed by CCG Scotland should the project receive the green light.

Staff from Abertay Housing Association held a consultation on the latest plans in November last year and said the proposals had been warmly received.

In a report included with the application, the firm said the new homes would be a good fit for the area due to its proximity to Charleston Community Centre and nearby shops and schools.

The report reads: “The development will provide 43 affordable dwellings of differing size and needs suitable for a varying demographic.

“The close relationship of community centre, library, shops, play areas and primary school all increase and justify the sustainability of the proposal.

“The proposals were met positively, with no objections raised by any visitors. The community generally welcomed the redevelopment of the site.”

Charleston Primary School was demolished after pupils were relocated to the new Camperdown campus in 2013.

Portakabin showcases Dundee harbour wakeboarding hub

Foxlake Dundee PortakabinModular expert Portakabin has worked with Dundee City Council to deliver a new wakeboarding hub for the waterfront redevelopment.

The new Foxlake wakeboarding centre opened in August 2017 and is part of the £1 billion transformation of Dundee Waterfront.

Foxlake recommended Portakabin to Dundee City Council for the project after working closely with the team on the Foxlake sister site at Dunbar, East Lothian.

The new site, located on City Quay, Dundee, is three modular buildings which Portakabin designed and installed to host a shop, reception, office, changing facilities, showers, toilets and disabled facilities.

Providing a high quality, high specification outdoor environment was vital for Foxlake. The centre caters for the entire Dundee community and aims to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle for all who use it. As well as developing sport locally, the centre will also deliver social programmes with local schools and community groups.

Foxlake Dundee Portakabin 2In response, Portakabin engineered a modern, multi-use building to complement Foxlake’s vision. Additional glazing to the reception and retail elevations of the building allow more natural light to flood the busiest areas.

Previous experience with the Dunbar site allowed Portakabin to spec more robust fittings for areas with high footfall. The external finish was completed with timber fencing, Foxlake branding, decking and a canopy.

Foxlake Adventures director, James Barbour, said: “After commissioning Portakabin to supply and install bespoke shower, changing and toilet blocks for our site in Dunbar, East Lothian and finding them a very professional company to work alongside, with an excellent after sales service, we did not hesitate in recommending them to Dundee City Council as a potential supplier of buildings for the Dundee project.

“Our existing buildings at Dunbar have been in operation for three seasons now, and have had tens of thousands of customers using them, proving they are as robust as they come.

“Again, Portakabin has not disappointed and we are extremely happy with the finished article we have at Foxlake Dundee.”

Foxlake Dundee Portakabin 3Alex Murray, area sales manager at Portakabin, who worked with Foxlake to deliver both sites at Dunbar and Dundee, added: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to be involved in the rejuvenation of the waterfront in Dundee. Our modular building was installed in just five weeks, bringing the Foxlake centre to life much quicker than a traditional build option.

“This investment in outdoor activity means our building will help introduce even more of the local community to the benefits of a fit and active lifestyle, instilling a lasting legacy with the development.

“Modular was a great solution for this waterside location; fast, a flexible design and the opportunity to share our learnings from a previous site with our client. We’re delighted with the finished building.”

Dundee set to approve £15.5m Waterfront office development

Site 6 of the Dundee Waterfront shown as work began on the V&A to the left

Site 6 of the Dundee Waterfront shown as work began on the V&A to the left

Work to create a £15.5 million office block in the heart of Dundee’s Waterfront is set to begin next month with the approval of a tender submitted by Robertson Construction.

Councillors are being asked to approve the appointment of the contractor to build on land at Site 6, adjacent to the new V&A Museum.

The five-floor development will include Grade A office space, ground floor commercial units, a service yard and dedicated parking.

Due to be completed in February 2019, the building forms part of broader development on the site which received planning consent in the summer.

A report being considered by the city development committee next week seeks approval to accept the tender submitted by Robertson Construction on behalf of Wilmott Dixon.

Funding for the project is available as part of the Scottish Government’s Growth Accelerator Fund and prudential borrowing from income received from leasing the commercial units within the building.

Lynne Short, convener of the city development committee, said: “This is another important milestone in the transformation of our central Waterfront.

“There can be few locations matching it anywhere in Scotland, just yards from the new V&A and the River Tay. It’s also right next door to our new railway station.

“Creating top-class office space like this bolsters the ongoing efforts of the council and its partners to attract blue chip employers to the city.”

Dundee Central Waterfront Site Proposal

The building forms part of a broader mixed-use development on the site

The report, by executive director of city development Mike Galloway, notes that there will also be a community benefits programme including guarantees to employ local labour, apprenticeships and local contract spend.

It also confirms that all employees working for main contractor Robertson Construction and all sub-contractors on the site will be paid the Living Wage, currently £8.75 and due to go up every November.

Councillor Short added: “This development and others in the Central Waterfront will not only act as a magnet for future employers, but also create opportunities for workers in the construction sector.

“It’s another strong signal that Dundee is a city open for business.”

Meanwhile, a ten-year vision to build on the success of Dundee construction and infrastructure projects will also be considered by councillors next week.

The Capital Investment Strategy links together a number of developments that will assist in policy areas like work & enterprise, children & families, healthcare & wellbeing and community safety and justice.

Future planning for the school estate, green spaces, housing investment, smart cities digital and stronger communities are among the areas under focus.

The council runs a five-year capital plan, with the current version sitting at investment levels of nearly £350m. While including these details, the Capital Investment Strategy illustrates the council’s longer-term thinking for programmes.

The document also details a number of projects which are earmarked to take place under the Tay Cities Deal including a Comics Centre, the redevelopment of Dundee Contemporary Arts, an aviation skills partnership and the decommissioning opportunities being explored by the Dundeecom partnership.

Council leader John Alexander said: “This strategy is a clear outline of the ambition we have for Dundee and illustrates how hard we are working to realise it.

“We are maintaining the regeneration of the city and ensuring that all of our pupils are learning in quality surroundings.

“There are a number of aspirations through the Tay Cities deal that the wider partnership of the area want to realise because they are hugely exciting and will help to accelerate the momentum that has been built up.

“We are also thinking innovatively about strengthening the city’s infrastructure for years to come, and this will include the delivery of Wi-Fi and 5G readiness in the Central Waterfront with the Scottish Futures Trust.

“We are absolutely determined to build a fairer and smarter city for the future and take on the challenges that exist for the benefit of our people.”

The council’s policy and resources committee meets on Monday December 11.

Green light for £100m Energy from Waste facility in Dundee

A view of the proposed facility from Drumgeith Road

A view of the proposed facility from Drumgeith Road

A £100 million investment into the future of waste disposal from Dundee and Angus will go ahead after a deal was finalised to provide a new energy from waste facility to replace the city’s current Baldovie incinerator.

The project will preserve around 37 operational jobs at the facility and about 70 indirect jobs. It will also support up to 300 jobs during the construction period.

Successful bidder MVV will construct and operate a new Energy from Waste facility near to the current Dundee Energy Recycling Ltd (DERL) run-plant at Forties Road, which it will replace.

The new facility will also be capable of producing combined heat and power (CHP). The nearby Michelin plant will benefit from energy provision from the new plant, with any surplus heat capable of being used within the local residential area.

The new plant will have a capacity of 110,000 tonnes per annum, enough to treat all residual waste from the two partner councils.

Councillor Kevin Cordell, Dundee City Council neighbourhood services convener, said: “As we move toward meeting new targets, a much more environmentally-friendly method of dealing with waste was vital for both the city and Angus.

“This is an exciting development for the local area and one which will be of value for many years to come.”

Councillor John Alexander, Dundee City Council leader, said: “This is a huge step for the future of waste disposal for both Dundee and Angus and represents another ambitious investment in our local economy.

“This plant will help our city’s impressive Michelin factory as they drive their business forward with innovation and expansion to safeguard jobs and create new opportunities.

“We are working with two major European companies in the form of MVV and Michelin, and this shows how strong industrial partnership work including Dundeecom is already bringing economic benefits to the city.”

Angus Council’s leader Councillor Bob Myles welcomed the completion of the project: “This project has taken some five years of hard partnership work and has reached a successful conclusion. Being in a position where we, Dundee and Angus Councils, are meeting our targets of no residual waste going to landfill, in advance of the 2020 target, shows our commitment to the environment and to making best use of waste material and good partnership working.”

Construction of the new facility is expected to take three years.

Dundee Waterfront goes global in search for new investors

Progress with V & A and Railway Station buildings

Progress is being made on the V&A and Railway Station buildings

The expanding range of development opportunities across Dundee and Dundee Waterfront are to be promoted to the global investor community with the launch of a new investors pack next week.

The new pack is being launched at the 5th Dundee Waterfront Roadshows being hosted in Glasgow and Aberdeen by Ryden.

The investors pack is the latest in a series of digital marketing tools promoting investment opportunities across the city. Other marketing initiatives include a Waterfront App with a virtual tour that provides tours of the sites and the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, plus a range of online design and planning guides.

The investor pack will also be promoted at a series of events to internal and external stakeholders including Scottish Enterprise, SDI, property agents, investors and developers.

Allan Watt Dundee Waterfront project director

Allan Watt Dundee Waterfront project director

Allan Watt, Dundee Waterfront project director, said: “The new investors pack showcases the city and Waterfront to a global audience. We have one of the most exciting investment propositions in Europe, and it is important we share that opportunity as widely as possible. Dundee Waterfront has nearly 1.5 million sq. ft of ‘shovel-ready’ land ready for mixed-use development across 8 sites. We take a partnership approach to development and work closely with investors to progress their proposals.”

Recent significant investment announcements for Dundee include:

  • £40m mixed-use development for the creative sector in Dundee Waterfront
  • £10m development of Dundee Port for the decommissioning market
  • HQ for Scotland’s new social security agency, creating over 700 jobs

Dundee was recently tipped by the Wall Street Journal as a ‘hot destination’ for 2018, whilst National Geographic Magazine Traveller section selected the city as one of its ‘Stay at home’ destinations.

Green light for new restaurant overlooking Dundee cemetery

Howff InteriorPlans have been approved to create a restaurant and whisky bar overlooking Dundee’s historic Howff cemetery.

West One Properties submitted fresh designs for a new 60-seat restaurant next to the site after earlier proposals for the same location were described as “social vandalism” by a conservation group.

The initial plans to turn the property at 5 Bank Street into a 70-seat restaurant were unanimously rejected by councillors in April.

Features of the original proposals included a glass extension at the rear which would overhang the cemetery.

Instead of an extension over the graveyard, the new plans are to create a “large picture window” overlooking the headstones instead.

A whisky bar will also be constructed in the basement of the building.

Dundee City Council has included a number of conditions in its acceptance of the application, with full details and design of the venue having to be submitted to the local authority before work starts.

Electrical and mechanical noise, as well as music, will also be limited to certain levels.

A design statement submitted to the council on behalf of West One by Brunton Design chartered architects said the giant window would allow diners to “be part” of the Howff.

It added: “Although the Bank Street façade is ordered and a good example of period city centre architecture, there is no visual link at the moment through the ground-floor space into the oldest and arguably the most accessible medieval graveyard in Scotland.

“A major steelwork exercise will be undertaken to create a large ‘picture window’ in the rear wall on to the Howff.”

The statement said the light provided by the restaurant would change the way the Howff was seen at night, casting a “silhouette” across the stones.

Fresh proposals lodged for former Dundee College campus

VOX DundeeRevised plans to transform a former Dundee College campus into flats and apartments have been lodged with the city council.

Keppie Design and Whiteburn Projects, which had previously gained planning permission to covert the 1970s building in 2015, have now drawn up new plans to include 111 rental flats and 24 serviced apartments together with a café, laundry, cinema, gym and co-working spaces.

Covering an area of 2.26 acres, Vox Dundee will retain and enhance the existing structure through the sensitive removal of elements which inhibit development in order to provide a sustainable future for the crumbling college building.

The west wing of the development would comprise solely residential apartments while the east wing would be made up of a mix of residential and serviced accommodation.

VOX Dundee 2Moves to transform the building, which closed its doors for the final time six years ago, have been in the pipeline since 2014.

Whiteburn Projects was previously granted planning permission to convert the building into 110 one and two-bedroom flats.

The £15 million project was given the green light, but in summer last year factors including the UK voting to leave the European Union led the investment pool to conclude that putting money into property in Dundee was regarded as having a higher-risk profile and the funds were no longer available.

VOX Dundee 3In a statement Keppie wrote: “This model supports Scottish Government’s active pursuit of a private rental sector that provides good quality homes with a high standard of management. The Vox model is fundamentally sustainable: in Britain we continue to swallow green belt and expand our suburbs, in search of bigger homes, bigger gardens and ‘idealised’ communities.

“Meanwhile many of our city centres have declined. It is not enough to tell people that city living is more sustainable. To encourage people to recolonise our urban centres we need to make our cities ‘liveable’. Vox provides a prototype for development that we believe could contribute to a sustainable future for our cities.”

Planning approval for Dundee community centre

Menzieshill Community CentreDundee City Council has granted planning permission for the city’s newest community centre.

The new Menzieshill Community Centre, packed with adaptable, community friendly features, will be built in front of the existing community facilities in Orleans Place, to the south of Charleston Drive.

Spectators will also be able to watch games from inside the hall, as mobile seating has been incorporated into the plan that can be stowed away when not needed.

Part of the ground floor will be built underground, as it will be constructed on a slight slope.

Meanwhile, three multi-purpose meeting rooms will make up the first floor.

Menzieshill Community Centre 3The project, the second phase of a wider Menzieshill masterplan developed by Holmes Miller, is being procured through the Scape framework and will be delivered by Robertson Construction Tayside.

Holmes Miller said the rooms will be made up of partitions that makes them adaptable for various community uses.

In a planning statement, the firm said: “We have attempted to identify as many opportunities as possible for flexible, multi-functional spaces by incorporating moveable partitions and minimising fixed furniture.

“This will allow the community centre to cater to a wider range of uses, whatever the space requirements of various community user groups.”

The first floor will also house a cafe, kitchen facility and gym/fitness suite.

In all, the new community centre will be 3,100 square metres and made of sandy-coloured bricks with gold metallic cladding and copper window frames — giving what the developers call a “simple yet refined appearance”.

Menzieshill Community Centre 2These plans form the second phase of a three-part rejuvenation masterplan for the Menzieshill Community Centre.

Detailed plans submitted by Holmes Miller in August show that it intends to partially demolish the existing retail units and health centre.

In their place, a community garden will be created.

Phase two of the plans, seen here, will see the sprawling community centre built alongside a number of other amenities.

These include a new playpark to the south, a new plaza space stretching onto Charleston Drive and 50 car parking spaces which will be accessed from Dickson Avenue.

Two of the parking spaces will be equipped with electric car chargers in line with Dundee City Council’s efforts to encourage electric vehicle use.

The final and third phase of the plan will see a new GP surgery and more landscaping at the edge of Charleston Drive, but these plans are yet to be finalised or approved.

The developed masterplan also suggests the Menzieshill community campus could yet host a care home and an early years/nursery centre.