V&A architect visits Dundee as river-facing front of £80m museum is revealed

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The architect of the £80.1 million V&A Dundee museum has seen his vision, inspired by Scotland’s cliffs, realised on the banks of the River Tay.

Japanese designer Kengo Kuma visited the city on Wednesday shortly after a temporary cofferdam, which allowed the museum to be built into the river, was removed.

The river-facing front of the under-construction V&A was revealed after work to dig out 12,500 tonnes of stone.

The museum is scheduled to open next year.

Mr Kuma said: “My inspiration always starts from the place where the project will be. In the past I visited Scotland many times, this very beautiful country and I’m truly in love with the Scottish landscape and nature.

“I really hope once finished this project will attract many people from the UK, and around the world, to the city and the museum.

“I hope as well that people from Dundee will use it as an everyday part of their city; that they will go there to enjoy the building with its surrounding public space and find a harmonious relationship between the museum, the riverside, the city and themselves.

“I am delighted and satisfied with what we’ve achieved so far. The realisation of the strong facade is great.”

The museum is the first building in the UK to be designed by Kengo Kuma, who is part of the team designing the Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium.

His vision is for the museum to be a new ‘living room’ for the city, welcoming everyone to visit and to reconnect the city with its historic waterfront.

Philip Long, director of V&A Dundee, said: “Everyone working on the design and construction should be incredibly proud of what they’ve achieved.

“We can’t wait to welcome everyone when we open the museum next year.”

John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council, said: “V&A Dundee is a very visible and tangible example of the city’s growing confidence, culture and regeneration – something which everyone in Dundee has bought into.

“The city has a new energy and vibrancy and this is a clear example of our bold ambition.”

The museum is being developed with help from the Scottish Government, Heritage Lottery Fund, Dundee City Council, the UK Government, Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, University of Dundee and Abertay University.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: “As is fitting for an international centre of design, Kengo Kuma’s vision has been instrumental in making the V&A Dundee building a stunning piece of art and the perfect setting for the future exhibitions that it will host.

“I look forward to celebrating the opening of the museum in 2018: this will represent a key milestone towards achieving Dundee’s waterfront regeneration ambitions, and will further enhance Scotland’s economic and cultural development.”