The director of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, Dr Tristram Hunt, has praised the progress of Dundee’s namesake museum in his first visit to the city.
The former Labour MP received a tour of the construction site from V&A Dundee director Philip Long and representatives of BAM Construct UK, just weeks after the museum’s walls reached their full height.
Set to become an international centre for design, the museum will be housed in a world-class building created by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, architect of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium.
Although the V&A in Dundee has been established in close partnership with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, it is run independently with its own director and, as well as bringing V&A exhibitions to Scotland, it will develop its own.
Dr Hunt said shortly after visiting the construction site: “I think V&A Dundee is a totally stunning design which provides exactly the right kind of space to tell the story of Scottish design.
“This new design museum speaks both to the incredible heritage and sense of place in Dundee, but is also a statement of optimism and ambition about the future.
Philip Long, director of V&A Dundee, added: “We’re delighted to welcome Tristram at this exciting stage in our journey towards creating the first V&A museum in the world outside of London.
“The V&A is known globally as representing the very highest standard of collections, curatorial expertise and exhibitions, and as part of this we are working in partnership to develop a museum of international importance that will open here in Dundee in 2018.
“V&A Dundee is itself a remarkable piece of design, with Kengo Kuma’s bold architectural vision – inspired by the natural forms of Scotland’s cliffs – requiring remarkable construction and engineering techniques. It will be home to Scotland’s untold design story, and to international V&A touring exhibitions.”
The museum will have access to the collections, curatorial expertise and exhibitions of its namesake in London, but will be run independently with its own director.
Dundee was named the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design in 2014, with the museum part of a £1bn 30-year masterplan to regenerate the city after decades of industrial decline.