Top design magazine awards ‘superstructure’ V&A Dundee architecture gong

The V&A.

The eye-catching exterior of V&A Dundee has been recognised by a major design magazine.

London-based Wallpaper*– which describes itself as “the global authority on design” – has named the £80 million waterfront building as the winner in the “best facade” category of its 2018 Design Awards.

The publication paid tribute to the vision of Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, describing the building as a “superstructure” and also praising the “striking” exterior which juts out onto the River Tay.

The V&A is three-storeys high, with curving walls made of concrete and 2,500 pre-cast stone panels weighing roughly 3,000kg each.

Kuma, a professor at the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Tokyo, took his inspiration for the design from the cliffs of the north-east coast.


The Wallpaper* Design Awards are described as “a visual feast of the hottest design, architecture and fashion high-fliers for 2018” which recognise “glittering creative talents”.

Awarding V&A Dundee the best facade award, the magazine said: “Kengo Kuma’s new V&A Museum of Design recently reached a defining moment in what are the final stages of its construction on Dundee’s waterfront.

“The removal of the temporary cofferdam, which enabled the building to be anchored into the bedrock of the River Tay, has finally revealed the full drama of the landmark project, which sports a striking façade inspired by the craggy cliff formations of Scotland’s east coast.”

Wallpaper* also described the work to create the building’s striking curved walls and fit the building out with geothermal heating through 30 bore holes as a “a bravura feat of engineering”.

‘It was quite a difficult thing to build’: Dundee dad creates spectacular V&A Dundee model out of Lego

The magazine has millions of online readers and a large print readership, focusing on “trendsetting features” on design, architecture, travel, interiors, fashion, art and lifestyle. It has more than 2 million followers on Twitter.

Work is now under way to complete the interior of the museum, which is due to open to the public on September 15.

For more on the Wallpaper* Design Awards 2018, click here.