The V&A at Dundee has taken a major step forward as the construction process is set in motion following Dundee City Council’s decision yesterday to grant the project planning permission. Tender notices will shortly be issued, to allow interested companies to begin bidding to construct the first V&A museum outside London. Publication of the tender details represents a major milestone on a journey which will see architect Kengo Kuma’s concept for the V&A at Dundee building transformed into an international centre of design for Scotland.
In an update on the project Philip Long, Director of V&A at Dundee, said:’I am delighted by the approval, which now allows us to move V&A at Dundee further towards realisation. The V&A at Dundee team has been working on detailed plans to translate the outline design into a construction model, and that work is now almost complete. The project is entering a new phase, where within the next few months people will begin to see evidence of V&A at Dundee coming into being.
‘Kengo Kuma’s fabulous design will give Dundee and Scotland a wonderful space to enjoy outstanding international exhibitions, and to learn about and get involved with Scotland’s remarkable history of design creativity. I believe it will attract visitors from across the world.’
In terms of the construction timetable, the temporary infill of Craig Harbour beside RRS Discovery has already begun, incorporating crushed demolition material from the former Maxweltown multis and Tayside House. This will create a platform from which to start work on the Craig Harbour side of the building. Meanwhile, the demolition of the former Olympia Swimming Pool estimated to take forty weeks, is scheduled to start in September.
Mr Long added that while the latest developments mark an important stage in V&A at Dundee’s development, the desire to make progress has to be balanced by careful project planning, wildlife protection and safety and environmental considerations.
‘Detailed work is needed to clear and prepare the site, and the partners’ priority is to ensure tight controls on cost and construction standards. At present we are advised construction itself is likely to start early in the summer of 2014.
‘The projected date for the main fabric of the building to be in place is the end of 2015. Its completion, the interior fit-out and installation of the first exhibitions and displays will follow throughout 2016. We feel this timescale is realistic and, crucially, will ensure V&A at Dundee is ready to play a central role in the UK City of Culture 2017, should the strong case put forward by Dundee be fortunate enough to win.
Mike Galloway, Director of City Development at Dundee City Council, added: “Securing planning permission and the subsequent publication of the tender documents takes us closer towards constructing a world-class building that will have an international impact. V&A at Dundee will be a huge asset for the city as a focal point in the transformation of the whole Waterfront area. Dundee City Council along with the partner organisations involved will be working closely together to ensure that the city reaps the huge benefits that will accrue from locating this prestigious museum in our city.”
The outstanding design by Japanese architects Kengo Kuma & Associates, working in partnership with Scottish practice Cre8architecture, was selected by a jury as the choice for V&A at Dundee following an international competition.
The chosen design is for a striking building that will come to represent Dundee and has the potential to be one of Europe’s most iconic buildings. Its inspirational forms make reference to V&A at Dundee’s celebrated neighbour, the pioneering ship the RRS Discovery, designed and constructed in the city. Citing light and nature as his inspiration, Kengo Kuma’s goal is to recover the design of traditional buildings and to reinterpret this for the 21st century, using natural materials to create airy, open spaces filled with sunlight.
V&A at Dundee will be an international centre of design for the widest public, housed in a world-class building at the heart of Dundee’s waterfront. It will show major exhibitions of international design, celebrate and promote the care of our own design heritage, inspire and help develop contemporary talent, and encourage design innovation for the future.
V&A at Dundee will be an international centre of design for Scotland. It will celebrate Scotland’s historic importance in design and host major exhibitions of outstanding design, helping people understand their own and others’ cultural heritage.
V&A at Dundee will become indispensable to makers, teachers and industry nationwide as a place for the cultivation and exchange of knowledge, opportunity and design innovation. It will develop opportunities for diverse communities to engage with, learn from and enjoy design creativity, past and present.