• Victoria & Albert Museum opens in Scotland

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    The new Victoria & Albert museum in Dundee, Scotland, has been designed by Kengo Kuma to replicate the bow of a ship…

    The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), in London, has opened a branch in Dundee, Scotland, in a spectacular new building – designed by Kengo Kuma on the banks of the Firth of Tay. The V&A Dundee will feature both historical and contemporary design. The futuristic building, designed by Kuma, was inspired by the cliffs on the Scottish coast and is the centerpiece at Dundee’s Tayside development.

    Kuma, who also designed the stadium for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, is regarded as a master at connecting buildings with their natural surroundings. His first project in the UK will connect people “like a living room” with their city and history.

    The V&A Dundee appears to rise out of the water like the bow of a huge ship. Grey in grey, like the cliffs on the nearby North Sea coast, it is made from thousands of wave-like stone slabs. The two building sections in the form of inverted pyramids provide free access to the River Tay on the ground and are joined on the first floor. The overhang is almost 20 meters at the longest point. Kuma and his team decided to specify Duravit’s classic rectangular Vero washbasins in the washrooms are fully in keeping with the museum’s timelessly modern design.

    The analogy continues in the huge oak-paneled atrium. The light-flooded hall, says Kuma, is intended to make visitors feel as if they are entering a Japanese temple. The 1100 square meter exhibition floor is reached via a wide staircase, glass elevator and dark limestone floor with fossil imprints.

    Everywhere, circular passages, seating areas and cafés provide unexpected views of the water, cranes and the Tay bridge.

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  • AUTHOR

    Hamish Kilburn

    All stories by: Hamish Kilburn