Contractor to hand over museum this month

The first images of Kengo Kuma’s £80m V&A Dundee have been released.

The 8,000sq m museum is virtually complete – contractor Bam hands it over to the client at the end of the month before taking it back to do the interior fit-out. The V&A today announced it will open in September.

It will contain 1,650sq m of gallery space and be the institution’s first full museum outside London. The brainchild of Moira Gemmill, the V&A’s late director of design, it will contain a gallery named in her memory.

The museum stands at the centre of the £1bn transformation of the Dundee waterfront, once part of the city’s docklands.

It has ended up costing three times the original budget of £27m and nearly double the revised £45m budget which was set when Kuma won the job in 2010.

The Japanese architect beat teams that included Steven Holl and Rex, Snohetta with Gareth Hoskins and Austrian firm Delugan Meissl Associated Architects.

Kuma’s complex design was controversial because it was so difficult to build.

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Source: Ross Fraser McLean

None of the structure’s external walls is straight, so the process of making and installing the 2,500 cast stone two-tonne panels had to be “meticulously planned”. To complicate matters further the 18.4m-high building juts out into the River Tay.

V&A director Tristram Hunt said: “The opening of V&A Dundee this year will be a remarkable moment for Dundee, the V&A and the UK. The V&A was founded to champion British design, showcase the greatest works of creative ingenuity and enrich everyone’s imagination.

“V&A Dundee will build on our deep connections to the story of Scottish design and its meaning for modern practitioners, sharing our collections and world-class exhibitions. This is a cultural milestone for Dundee and a new opportunity for the UK to show the world how art and design can educate and inspire.”

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Source: Ross Fraser McLean