V&A at Dundee

V&A Dundee architect sees cliff-inspired vision revealed for first time

VA Kengo visitThe architect of V&A Museum of Design Dundee said he is “delighted and satisfied” as he saw his vision inspired by Scotland’s cliffs revealed for the first time.

Kengo Kuma visited the £80.1 million project shortly after the removal of a temporary cofferdam which allowed the museum to be built into the water.

The resulting realisation of the façade is a dramatic river-facing front of the museum which juts outs into the River Tay.

For Kengo Kuma, the Japanese architect who also designed the Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium, this aspect of the building coupled with the reflecting ponds which surround and flow between the two blocks, completes a “continuous waterscape” and brings a sense of nature to the development.

Image by Ross Fraser McLean

Image by Ross Fraser McLean

Mr Kuma said: “My inspiration always starts from the place where the project will be. 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. 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.

“I am delighted and satisfied with what we’ve achieved so far. The realisation of the strong façade is great. We were able to express the dynamic scale of the interior, too – just as we had planned.”

The removal of the cofferdam involved digging out 12,500 tonnes of stone and cutting out a structure of vertical metal sheets which was constructed on the bedrock of the river.

The exterior walls are also complete, with all 2,500 cast stone panels now hung on V&A Dundee’s complex walls, which curve both vertically and horizontally.

These panels were made in moulds, weigh up to two tonnes each and span up to four metres. The size, shape and placement of the panels varies around the building, creating changing patterns of shadows as the sun moves around the museum.

Image by Ross Fraser McLean

Image by Ross Fraser McLean

No detail has been considered too small. Each of the windows are positioned to give visitors specific outward views towards the River Tay and its two bridges. Even the smaller windows are placed to provide a shimmering effect as the sunlight bounces off the intricate angles.

V&A Dundee director, Philip Long, said the relationship between Dundee and the River Tay has been re-established and reinvigorated by Kengo Kuma’s designs.

Asked about his most pleasing element to the build so far, Mr Long reflected on a boat trip he took when the coffer dam was first removed to see the building finally emerge from the land and connect with the water.

Image by Ross Fraser McLean

Image by Ross Fraser McLean

He told Scottish Construction Now: “We took the sensible decision early based on cost and risk to bring the building closer to the land and a fantastic public space has been created as a result.

“It has been a pleasure working alongside Kengo Kuma Associates and to see the team respond to challenges in creative ways.”

Mr Long added: “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. Everyone working on the design and construction should be incredibly proud of what they’ve achieved.”

Image by Ross Fraser McLean

Image by Ross Fraser McLean

For Malcolm Boyd, construction manager at BAM Construct UK, the jewel in the crown is ‘Wall 14’, a sloping curved structure on the northern block reminiscent of a wave which Boyd describes as “absolutely fantastic”.

He added the elements of the inside of the museum, which will remain under wraps to all but a select few until the official opening, are “simply breathtaking”.

John Campbell, commercial manager at BAM Construct UK, told Scottish Construction Now of his satisfaction of seeing the whole project team pulling in the same direction.

He added: “Seeing the complicated parts all coming together so well has been great. The whole team has been working together with the same goal of creating something special. Its been a tremendous effort by everyone.”

Construction of the building will be completed by the end of December with the museum scheduled to open next summer.

New Dundee jobs for out of work bright sparks

DundeenewstartsThe future’s looking brighter for eight Dundee electricians who have just secured new jobs thanks to ongoing work at V&A Museum of Design Dundee.

The three qualified electricians and five apprentices, including an adult trainee, had been made redundant from local mechanical and electrical company, Scottish Electrical Group, when it ceased trading in August.

BAM Construction, which is building the prestigious V&A Dundee, was alerted to the situation by the Partnership Action for Continued Employment Partnership (PACE) who contacted their supply network to try and help the tradesmen. The group has now started working on site having secured permanent contracts with BAM’s mechanical and electrical installation sub-contractor FES.

Construction manager Malcolm Boyd said: “It’s a great feeling when you are able to pull together and help in this way and I’m really delighted for the team who will not only be a strong addition to the project but will also have the opportunity to work on one of the best building projects in the UK.”

Dundee City Council leader, Councillor John Alexander, said: “I am glad that the ongoing construction programme at V&A Museum of Design Dundee has enabled these people to find work and put their skills to use on this exciting project.

“The ambition of V&A Dundee will bring about substantial long term benefits for our city’s economy and the construction of the building has given a huge boost to those firms involved.

“I am encouraged to see how the project has helped workers who found themselves in very difficult circumstances.”

Philip Long, director of V&A Dundee, added: “We are delighted to see more local people gain employment on the construction of our new museum, particularly after facing unemployment. V&A Dundee will help boost the region’s economy, from the jobs we’re already creating to the hundreds of thousands of visitors we’ll welcome each year.”

Opening in 2018, V&A Dundee will be the only V&A museum anywhere in the world outside London. It will be the first ever dedicated design museum in Scotland: an international centre for design, a place of inspiration, discovery and learning.

And finally… V&A Dundee gets the Star Wars treatment


A new video has uncovered the real purpose behind the Dundee V&A, and it is out of this world.

Created by Duncan of Jordanstone graphic design course director Gary Gowans, the video reveals that the Scotland’s first purpose-built design museum is indeed to be the home of the Millennium Falcon and other Star Wars spacecraft.

Kengo Kuma’s vision really is giving Dundee a new hope.

£80m V&A Dundee museum celebrates ‘topping out’ milestone

VA Dundee topping out 6A ‘topping out’ ceremony was held today to mark a significant moment in the construction of the £80.11 million V&A Museum of Design Dundee.

Local schoolchildren were involved in the event which saw a Douglas Fir tree positioned ceremonially by crane at the highest point of the building, nearly two years on from the start of construction.

The tree will be in position temporarily for the ceremony on Wednesday and will be planted as part of the landscaping at the site later.

Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the BAM Construction project is on schedule to open to the public next year.

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.

VA Dundee topping out 1

Core inner walls, stairwell and lift cores and the outer double curvature walls of the building have all now been constructed

This year, following the removal of formwork, pre-cast panels will be installed to the exterior walls to give the building its unique slatted, multi-layered appearance.

These horizontal panels will create the appearance of a cliff face, realising Kengo Kuma’s vision inspired by the coastline of north eastern Scotland. Each panel weighs up to 3000kg and spans up to 4 metres.

Malcolm Boyd, construction manager at BAM Construction, said: “Every phase of this unique, challenging project is exciting. The BAM team continues to make good progress on construction and, along with Dundee City Council and V&A Dundee, takes great pride in building this cultural landmark for the future in Dundee.”

Construction of V&A Dundee has also created a number of benefits for young people.

There have been 17 new start employment opportunities created, 17 existing apprentices are working on the project and a further 6 apprenticeships have been initiated on the project.

There have been 7 work experience placements as part of employability programmes, most of which have been of twelve weeks duration, and 7 work experience placements for school pupils.

va dundee topping out 7

The corridor between the two buildings show the fixtures to which the cladding will connect

The pupils from today’s ceremony, from Our Lady’s and Rosebank primary schools, have been taking part in the Bonnetmakers design project with V&A Dundee which has seen them explore the traditions of Dundee bonnet making and look forward to the impact the museum will have on their futures.

Dundee City Council administration leader, Councillor Ken Guild, praised the effort of BAM Construction and Careys in producing a building “which would have been impossible to build ten years ago”.

Mr Guild said: “This is a significant and exciting development in the construction of this fantastic building, which has already made an impact on the skyline of the city beside the River Tay.

“The aspirational V&A Dundee project is designed to provide the city and Scotland with a world-class museum, which will help to provide jobs and wider economic benefits.

“We are seeing something truly unique coming to fruition and I am delighted that Dundee young people are here to witness a very special moment in this project.”

Cabinet secretary for culture, Europe and external affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “Today’s topping out ceremony marks an important achievement for V&A Dundee, and a key milestone towards achieving Dundee’s ambitions for the city as well as Scottish culture and tourism.

“The Scottish Government has been a long-time supporter of the project, recognising the significant economic contribution that this signature building can bring to the regeneration of Dundee’s waterfront, giving the city and Scotland a world-class design museum and visitor attraction.”

IMG_20170301_1145139-panoramaPhilip Long, director of V&A Dundee, said: “V&A Dundee will be a major international cultural venue and tourism attraction, based in Dundee but showcasing collections from – and working with communities – across Scotland.

“The completion of the museum’s incredible walls marks a major step in this project, and one which would not have been possible without the vision of our architect, the construction expertise of BAM and Arup’s remarkable structural engineering solutions.

“As is fitting for an international centre of design, the building itself is a stunning piece of design. We’re delighted that our galleries, exhibitions and learning activities will have such an inspiring home.”

Dundee Council unveils new £400m five-year building programme

Artist’s impression of Dundee’s new V&A museum

Artist’s impression of Dundee’s new V&A museum

Dundee City Council has outlined plans to invest almost £400 million on infrastructure projects across the city over the next five years.

The £387m programme to be undertaken between 2017 and 2022 takes in play areas, schools, the V&A Dundee, a replacement of Craigie House and initiatives designed to enhance jobs and regeneration.

Details of the projects will be outlined to the council’s policy and resources committee on October 31.

Depute policy and resources convener, Councillor Willie Sawers, said: “The council, its partners in the city and the Scottish Government have been working extremely hard together to put improvements in place for the people of this city.

“This annual review of the current Council Plan identifies a number of successes and highlights why we have extremely good grounds for optimism.

“But the report does highlight that there are a number of areas we need to keep concentrating on and we are all determined to make more efforts on the future.

“That is why I am pleased to see the ambition that is shown in the capital plan to take forward projects that will benefit people in communities across the city.

“School buildings, the V&A Dundee, well insulated council housing and a replacement for Craigie House are among the highlights of this excellent vision for our city.”

ZMMA appointed to design V&A Dundee galleries

Dundee V&A new insideThe V&A has chosen Zombory-Moldovan Moore Architects (ZMMA) to design the flagship Scottish Design Galleries for the new Museum of Design Dundee.

Housing the world-renowned V&A collection and other exhibits from around the world, the galleries will also tell the story of Scotland’s design achievements.

London practice ZMMA, which specialises in museum and art space projects, has previously worked on the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, the National Railway Museum in York and the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Philip Long, director of V&A Dundee, said ZMMA would provide gallery space in the museum which would be sure to “inspire”.

He said: “This is a significant step for V&A Dundee, confirming the appointment of internationally acclaimed exhibition designers ZMMA.

“As well as covering all the practical considerations of displaying both historic and contemporary design in appropriate conditions, ZMMA’s design approach combines clever use of light, space, materials and interpretative techniques to create gallery displays that are sure to inspire.

“We look forward to working with them to create these permanent galleries which will showcase the most exciting Scottish designers working today, as well as presenting objects from our outstanding design heritage, many of which have not been previously seen.”

ZMMA director Adam Zombory-Moldovan promised the galleries and the museum housing them would be “stunning”.

He said: “We are delighted with V&A Dundee’s enthusiasm for our design approach and to have been awarded this great commission.

“This will be a stunning place and an astonishing Scottish design story, with a fantastic collection.

“We are thrilled to be working with V&A Dundee’s team to present the inspiration and importance of Scottish design – historic and contemporary – to local, national and international audiences.”

Dundee City Council leader Ken Guild said having a strong collection at the museum would help boost the city’s economy.

He added: “As the V&A Museum of Design Dundee rises at its waterfront site, work is already being done on the content and presentation in readiness for welcoming visitors.”

The V&A at Dundee is due to open in 2018.

Budget: City Deal for Edinburgh and £10m allocated to Scottish projects

Artist’s impression of Dundee’s new V&A museum

Artist’s impression of Dundee’s new V&A museum

Chancellor George Osborne has announced that a City Region Deal for Edinburgh and South East Scotland is being negotiated and pledged £10 million towards two building projects in Scotland.

Delivering his Budget to the House of Commons yesterday, the Chancellor said that fines levied from banks as a result of misconduct are to be evenly split to create a new leisure facility in Helensburgh and contribute to the fundraising campaign for the V&A Museum being built in Dundee.

The funding for the V&A project, which comes on top of a £12.5m contribution from the Heritage Lottery Fund, will make a major contribution towards the iconic museum reach its overall funding target.

Welcoming today’s funding announcement, Scotland Office Minister Andrew Dunlop said the money would help ensure the project would play its full part in the regeneration of Dundee.

He said: “This is great news for the V&A and for the city as a whole.

“I am delighted the Chancellor has been able to find this money for Dundee in his Budget.  It shows the UK Government is listening to Scotland and doing what we can to support important projects like the regeneration of the city’s waterfront.

“The V&A is a vital project, not just culturally, but also in terms of the part it can play in attracting jobs and investment into Dundee.  An iconic enterprise like this will help put the city on the map, bringing in visitors and showing the world what Dundee has to offer.”

The facility in Helensburgh will be available for use by the local community and by members of staff at the nearby HMNB Clyde base at Faslane.

Based on the Helensburgh Pier Head – an integral part of the town’s waterfront – the new facility will benefit local residents in the town and surrounding areas who rely heavily on the naval base for their jobs, businesses and livelihoods.

Lord Dunlop added: “This is fantastic news and will be a major boost for people living in Helensburgh and the surrounding area, particularly those working at the naval base at Faslane. Their commitment to keeping Scotland and the rest of the UK safe and secure is exemplary, and it is only right we recognise their efforts.

“This money will help rejuvenate the waterfront at Helensburgh – and will provide a magnificent leisure facility for everyone to enjoy.”

The Chancellor also said he would open negotiations on a city deal with the region comprising the City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian Councils.

The £1 billion initiative would follow other City Deals in Manchester, West Midlands and Merseyside, he said.

Speaking on behalf of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region, City of Edinburgh Council leader, Andrew Burns, said: “We are delighted with the Chancellor’s pledge to develop a City Deal for our region and welcome the opportunity to continue our engagement with both the UK and Scottish Governments.

“We submitted our proposals in September 2015 and remain as determined as ever to negotiate greater fiscal powers and funding towards strategic housing, transport and infrastructure to help the region to become the most connected, creative, inclusive and innovative place in Europe.

“This commitment from Westminster is a step forward for our proposals to tackle inequality and accelerate substantial economic growth.”

Responding to the Budget, Sarah Speirs, director RICS in Scotland, said: “The steps taken toward Scottish City Deals announced in by the Chancellor in the Budget are significant and welcome moves which will help to unlock the potential for considerable benefits across the country.

“We welcome the funding for Edinburgh and surrounding areas and we suggest part of this investment, in addition to help better protect historic attractions in Scotland’s capital, should also be used to sustain and improve the existing and aging stock across commercial and residential property. City deals are a welcome funding mechanism to bring forward key infrastructure needs of cities and regions, and we would urge the future Scottish Government administration to welcome City and Region Deal bids from Stirling and Perth.

“Inverness has undergone significant growth, both in terms of economy and population, and it is important that any future funding is used to increase connectivity: transport, bringing forward the A9 duelling and increasing rail connectivity, together with energy and broadband investment is vital to support this growth and RICS calls for significant investments in these areas.

“Following on from the £504 million joint City Deal for the North-East, the announcement of a cut to supplementary charge on oil and gas from 20 per cent to 10 per cent and reduction of Petroleum Revenue Tax should provide a needed boost to the regional and wider economy.”

V&A Dundee report details positive progress following independent inquiry

Dundee V&A AerialA series of recommendations made following an inquiry into the spiralling costs of the V&A Dundee project have now been implemented, according to a new report.

Procurement expert and former Rangers Football Club chairman, John McClelland, was called in to investigate the V&A project after the construction costs were revealed to have almost doubled from £45m to £80m in January this year.

Among 15 conclusions drawn from the independent inquiry, Mr McClelland called for an “urgent review” of the revised budget amid fears there could yet be additional costs, over and above the already £31.1m overspend, with some aspects of the build still having gone without financial review since 2010.

Now a report by Dundee City Council’s executive director of city development, Mike Galloway, has revealed that construction work to date on the £80 million V&A Dundee is on time overall and on budget and that all of the recommendations made by John McClelland’s in his review of the project have now been implemented.

Work on the project finally got under way in March after more than seven years of planning and following a rescue package to make up the funding shortfall from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Scottish Government.

The report, which will be considered by councillors on Monday, reveals that completed works include the coffer dam which has enabled the foundation construction for the part of the building that reaches out into the Tay, all piling on land and in the river, geothermal energy bore holes for the ground sourced heat pump and ground floor beams on one of the blocks.

Ken Guild, convener of the council’s policy and resources committee, said: “Since the end of March when work first got underway at the site good progress has already been made, both in terms of the actual construction but also on the financial aspects of the project.

“Significant progress has been made with the Scottish Government and Scottish Futures Trust on the proposed Growth Accelerator Model (GAM) Fund for the Waterfront and further discussions continuing.

“A number of sub-contractors have been appointed and have been, or are on, site for a variety of elements of the work.”

Councillors will be told that around 61 per cent of the labour on site is from the local area rising from an initial 50 per cent.

A total of 14 new start employment opportunities have been created and filled by previously unemployed candidates, young people from training programmes or people who had been made redundant by their former employers.

There are seven apprentices on site plus two work experience placements from local employability programmes.

The interior of the former Ingram Street Tea Room designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh will be installed as a long term exhibit at the museum following an agreement with Glasgow City Council for its loan.

An additional grant of £400,000 has been secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund to cover the full cost of its restoration and installation.

Independent inquiry finds ‘little prospect’ of Dundee V&A keeping to original budget

Dundee V&A new outsideA report into the spiralling costs of the V&A Dundee project has found that a series of management failings in the early stages of the project meant there was “little prospect” of it being kept to its original budget.

The independent inquiry into the increase of expenditure for the new waterfront attraction found there was a “mismatch” between the original budget for the museum and its “elite” design.

Details have also emerged that the Dundee railway station project is already £7 million over budget after the council failed to attract a tender for its £21m target.

Procurement expert and former Rangers Football Club chairman, John McClelland, was called in to investigate the V&A project after the construction costs were revealed to have almost doubled from £45m to £80m in January this year.

Dundee City Council said at the time that works associated with the building’s concrete shell and cost of cladding the building were much higher than the council and contractors had previous anticipated.

Now the McClelland report has identified a lack of expertise and scrutiny from early on in the project and criticised the local authority for not having a full-time project manager with construction experience in place when key decisions were taken.

He said the project was not integrated into the council’s “normal work”, even though it took official ownership of the project more than four years ago, with a failure to appoint a “single accountable project manager” and ambiguity about responsibility.

Mr McClelland added that the initial project estimates were “not sufficiently robust” to address the “unique challenges” of Japanese architect Kengo Kuma’s designs.

He said: “This project had, from the beginning, little prospect of being delivered for the original budget due to an accumulation of factors that mitigated against that being achieved. The largest single cause of the increase was an understatement of the original budget.”

Work on the project finally got under way in March after more than seven years of planning and following a rescue package to make up the funding shortfall from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Scottish Government.

Mr McClelland has called for an “urgent review” of the revised budget amid fears there could yet be additional costs, over and above the already £31.1m overspend, with some aspects of the build still having gone without financial review since 2010.

Dundee City Council chief executive David Martin, said he believes the existing budget is now “robust” enough to deliver the museum though he did admit that offering a guarantee is “difficult” and that, as with any construction project, “things can go wrong”.

Mr Martin said: “Since January 2015, steps have been taken to further develop and improve the governance, monitoring, communication and project management arrangements for the project. In light of the review, steps will be taken to provide additional cost and project management expertise.”

The outcome of the review will be considered by the city council’s policy & resources committee on Monday August 24 where Mr McClelland will answer questions raised by councillors.

Councillors will also consider an accompanying report by chief executive David Martin, which seeks agreement to accept the recommendations of the review and authorise Mr Martin to implement them.

Council leader Ken Guild, said: “I would like to thank John McClelland for his thorough review into the V&A Museum of Design Dundee construction project and his recommendations to help us take this forward.

“This comprehensive review shows us where lessons need to be learned and I am happy to accept the recommendations.

“I am sure that these can be implemented quickly and that frequent updates can be brought before councillors.

“We are working with our partners and BAM Construction to ensure that this unique building helps boost the economy, cultural offer and confidence of our city.‎ Mr McClelland’s expertise has helped identify a number of issues which will help us on other capital projects as well.

“Construction of the V&A Dundee is now underway and the project is proceeding successfully.”

15 conclusions from the McClelland inquiry:

There was a mismatch between the lower aspirations for the building’s design on which the £27m budget was based and the elite level of the design implied in the competition brief and eventually selected by the Panel.

The target cost set for the building also incorporated the risk that the cost of having it offshore would be difficult to cover within the budget even after adding a £4m contribution from the Waterfront Budget.

There was insufficient investment in providing external professional support to the project particularly in its early stages. In the case of the Judging Panel, the depth of independent technical investigation and analysis of the six cost estimates, particularly in relation to the cost of their design concepts and complexity, could have been deeper and more extensive.  This is, of course, especially appropriate to the winning design.

The depth of scrutiny able to be exercised by the Judging Panel in selecting the winning bid and understanding whether its design could be delivered within the estimated costs is difficult to assess due to incomplete records. For the same reason there is a lack of clarity about the information and briefing they were provided with, including on the rationale used in developing the original budget, the depth of independent adviser investigation of the bids and the adviser’s concerns about the achievability of the winning bid.  However, leaving aside how well supported and informed it was, the Panel’s process led to the selection of a winning bid that proposed an elite building, built over water, and estimated to be delivered at a cost per square metre which was 11 per cent less than their own budget which was originally set on an aspiration for a building that would be of high quality rather than elite.

The original Architectural Competition Bid Cost Estimate and, as a consequence, the Dundee City Council Budget of June 2011 were both understated.  In particular, at that stage the level of development of  the winning design did not allow full account to be taken in cost estimates of the complexity of the structure and within that was especially short in providing for the temporary works costs associated with actually building the design’s extraordinary Superstructure.  It also did not provide fully for the cost of building over water and this resulted in the building being relocated onshore thus sacrificing a key feature of the Competition Brief and the Design Competition.

It took time to identify all of the inherent upward cost pressures within the original estimate. Their materialisation in a series of different Cost Plan episodes, followed by value engineering redesigns over a three year time span, caused delays and disruption to the programme.

The design development issues and design changes were almost completely driven by the complexity of the design and in particular the challenges associated with its “buildability”. Client changes to the original design caused a relatively small part of the increase in cost. In fact these changes were more than offset by the results of “client compromise” in forfeiting the offshore feature of the original design and in agreeing on two occasions to reduce its height.

It is likely that general construction industry inflation was not fully provided for in the June 2011 budget.  However, when inflation is recalculated using current higher indices and recognising the three year programme delay described above, the additional inflation impact is £6.35m.

The largest single cause of the increase of £31.1m in the budget for Dundee’s V&A Museum of Design was an understatement of the original budget.

The administrative procedures pursued and governance exercised by DDL were generally competent.  This was particularly the case from early 2011 onwards when its structures were considerably strengthened with new committees and the engagement of externally contracted support.  However in 2010, at the time of the Architectural Competition and its Judging Panel, there could have been more rigorous recording and information reporting.

There has been an under-investment in skilled and experienced in-house technical and project management resources for this project. Although the use of externally contracted support has added value and capability, that type of full time assistance came only in March 2011. It is primarily a project management role and one that has proved crucial to the project to date.  However neither at DDL nor at Dundee City Council has there been a building project manager involved full time and fully accountable for this project and only this project.

There has been no continuous ongoing Quantity Surveyor or Cost Manager for the project, meaning no independent day by day monitoring of the cost estimating and other financial work of the Design Team. Although the extension of the external project management contract to include cost management services added value, their engagement was “on call” and they were not in place until the end of 2011 with their first report in January 2012

Dundee City Council continued to treat the V&A project as an external partnership venture and did not integrate it into the normal work of the council in the same way as other construction projects.  As a result not only was there no single accountable project manager within the council but the project did not benefit from access to and support from the full range of professional services such as quantity surveying and financial management. There was also ambiguity about responsibility and accountability for the building project between DDL and Dundee City Council and the intended Development Agreement setting out the terms of the relationship was not formalised.

Within Dundee City Council there was no central project file and all day to day governance, monitoring and regular reporting of status took place within DDL and not the council.  However when formal approvals or notifications were strictly required these were referred to appropriate Committees.

EU procurement rules were followed both in the case of the Architectural Competition and the Construction Tender. The council’s Procurement section was appropriately involved in the Construction Tender OJEU process but not the earlier process for the Architectural Competition. At that time there was not a central procurement function within Dundee City Council. Not only is this team now well established but its staffing includes expertise in construction projects.

And finally… Comic strip decorates BAM’s V&A Dundee site

vad-hoardings-sectionA 150-metre long comic book strip has been unveiled at BAM Construction’s site hoardings at the V&A Museum of Design Dundee.

Comic illustrator Will Morris and graphic designer David Mackenzie were commissioned to design the giant comic strip. Called Adventures in Design, it tells the story of the contribution of design to everyday life, featuring such Scottish designs as the Falkirk Wheel and Harris Tweed.

hoardingsDundee is the home of DC Thomson, whose publications include The Beano and The Dandy, begetter of Dennis the Menace, Desperate Dan, Minnie the Minx and the Bash Street Kids.

The move follows last year’s alternative Vogue covers decorating the perimeter of one of BAM’s Glasgow sites.