V&A architect lends support to Dundee Waterfront plans

Kengo Kuma outside the V&A Dundee. Image Credit: Alan Richardson

The man behind the design of the new V&A museum in Dundee has voiced his support for the surrounding development planned at the city’s Waterfront.

World-renowned architect Kengo Kuma, who described the £80.1 million museum as “the peak of my career as an architect”, said plans for a mixed use development immediately north of the site, will provide an “appropriate backdrop” to the building.

Mr Kuma was speaking in the wake of his most recent visit to Dundee to see progress on the completed museum exterior.

The 63-year old Yokohama-born author and professor at the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Tokyo said: “My building was always designed to complement and harmonise with its surroundings and the adjacent developments.

“It was never designed in isolation and was always meant to be part of a built environment with a flow of people and buildings with other uses in proximity.”

His comments come as a new council report unveiled that Marriott Hotels is in line to operate the new four star plus hotel.

Councillors will be asked to agree a letter of Intent with Marriott Hotels International Ltd to operate a hotel on site six under its ‘AC’ brand - the only one in Scotland.

Of the three expressions of interest submitted to the council to operate a hotel at the site Marriot’s was considered the most favourable in financial and quality terms.

Early visual of the mixed use development opposite the museum

Its proposal is for 6778.94 square metres (72,968 sq ft) of accommodation consisting of a 150 bedroom upscale, full service hotel. Facilities would include a restaurant and bar plus meeting/conference facilities and gym.

Lynne Short, convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee, said: “The mixed use development at site six has always included proposals for a high quality new hotel at what is a uniquely prestigious location that offers a prime opportunity to add to our top class hotel facilities.

“An international, design-led hotel of this high level of prestige is essential if the city is to maximise the tourism potential of the V&A from both leisure and business visitors.”

Mr Kuma added: “Dundee Waterfront is a stunning location and the planned developments will create a thriving platform for the city’s ambitious regeneration and an appropriate backdrop for the V&A.”

John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council, said: “The hotel at site six is the perfect fit for our vision for the waterfront. It matches exactly the scale of ambition that we have for the area and the whole city and is a sign that developers, operators and investors are seeing the mutual benefit of being involved at Dundee Waterfront.

“This a good deal for the council and a good deal for Dundee.”

According to the report due to be considered by the city development committee on Monday February 26 the proposed hotel development will employ around 120 full time equivalent posts plus a further 260 construction jobs during the building works.

Site six is located to the south west of Slessor Gardens and immediately north of the new V&A Dundee and is around 5,940 square metres (63,937 sq.ft.).

Planning permission was granted in June last year for a mixed use development comprising a hotel, office space, residential and ground floor spaces which will be suitable for leisure, food & drink and retail uses.

Robertson Group, together with architects Cooper Cromar, will deliver the project.

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