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Revealed: Opening date for Scotland's first design museum, created by Kengo Kuma

This is a cultural milestone for Dundee and a new opportunity for the UK to show the world how art and design can educate and inspire
– Tristram Hunt, V&A director

V&A Dundee, Scotland’s first design museum, will open to the public on Saturday 15 September 2018, it has been revealed.

New images of the Kengo Kuma-designed building have been released to coincide with the announcement, as have details of the museum’s inaugural exhibitions.

Standing at the centre of the £1bn (US$1.3bn, €1.1bn) transformation of the city’s waterfront, once part of the docklands, V&A Dundee has been designed to evoke the dramatic cliffs of Scotland’s east coast.

The museum will feature permanent galleries of Scottish design, as well as an international programme of changing exhibitions showcasing the very best of design from around the world.

While V&A Dundee has been established in close partnership with the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London, drawing on its collections, curatorial expertise and exhibitions, it has its own director, will be run independently and will develop its own exhibitions.

In the spotlight
What will there be to see V&A Dundee?

“At the heart of V&A Dundee, the Scottish Design Galleries will tell the story of Scotland’s exceptional and international design heritage. Curated in collaboration with the V&A, these galleries will be free to enter and feature around 300 exhibits drawn from the remarkable collections of the V&A, as well as from museums and private collections across Scotland and the world, covering architecture, ceramics, engineering, fashion, furniture, healthcare, jewellery, textiles, video game design and more.

“At the centre of these galleries will stand Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s magnificent Oak Room, fully restored and preserved for future generations in a partnership with Glasgow Life. The 13.5-metre-long panelled room was originally designed for Miss Cranston’s Ingram Street tearooms in Glasgow in 1907, before being saved – and placed in storage in hundreds of pieces – almost 50 years ago.

“Other key objects in the Scottish Design Galleries will include a beautifully decorated 15th century Book of Hours, a spectacular Cartier ‘Valkyrie’ diamond tiara, original Beano artworks from Dundee publishers DC Thomson, and the snap40 digital device which is designed to improve healthcare.

“Turner Prize-nominated artist Ciara Phillips has been commissioned to produce a new work in response to the V&A’s remarkable collections of Scottish design. Drawing on research into textile histories and Scottish ceramic production, this site-specific installation will welcome visitors as they reach the upper floor of the museum, before entering the galleries.”

“The Michelin Design Gallery will showcase contemporary design talent, starting with an exhibition of V&A Dundee’s pre-opening national project, the Scottish Design Relay, presenting design prototypes created by young people in communities across Scotland from Orkney to Govan.”

Source: V&A Dundee press statement

The opening exhibition, ‘Ocean Liners: Speed & Style,’ will explore “the designs behind a mode of transport that came to represent the status of nations and the aspirations of millions,” including the engineering and architecture of ships used in the golden age of travel and the fashions and lifestyles of those on board.

Exhibits will include paintings, sculptures, ship and engine models, furniture, photographs, posters and film.

“This is the first of many ambitious exhibitions at V&A Dundee that will show how our lives have been – and always will be – shaped by design,” said Philip Long, the museum’s director. “V&A Dundee is set to be a vital new cultural organisation for Dundee, the UK and beyond.”

Further exhibition announcements will be made ahead of the museum’s opening.

Tristram Hunt, director of the V&A, said: “The V&A was founded to champion British design, showcase the greatest works of creative ingenuity and enrich everyone’s imagination.

"V&A Dundee will build on our deep connections to the story of Scottish design and its meaning for modern practitioners, sharing our collections and world-class exhibitions. This is a cultural milestone for Dundee and a new opportunity for the UK to show the world how art and design can educate and inspire.”

Kuma’s team worked with engineering firm Turner & Townsend to realise the museum’s complex design. The structure is formed of 20 different curving elevations and external walls. Each wall was cast with a bespoke mould, which when removed to allow thousands of unique concrete and stone panels – made using stone aggregate, cement and reinforcement mesh – to be attached.

A cofferdam consisting of 12,500 tonnes of stone allowed construction to take place below the waterline, permitting the geometrically complex structure to stretch out into the River Tay itself.

Speaking about the design, Kuma has previously said: “The beauty of cliffs comes from the long, long dialogue between earth and water. I want to translate that beauty to a contemporary building. It’s very different from a concrete box, and very different from the museums of the 20th century.

“The inclination of the facade can give a different type of experience. If it’s too vertical, the vertical void rejects the people. The building should invite people to the waterfront.”

V&A Dundee  Scotland  design  archotecture  V&A  Kengo Kuma  Tristram Hunt  Ciara Phillips  Philip Long  River Tay  Dundee waterfront regeneration 
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V&A Dundee, Scotland’s first design museum, will open to the public on Saturday 15 September 2018, it has been revealed. New images of the Kengo Kuma-designed building have been released to coincide with the announcement, as have details of the museum’s inaugural exhibitions. Standing at the centre of the £1bn (US$1.3bn, €1.1bn) transformation of the city’s waterfront, once part of the docklands, V&A Dundee has been designed to evoke the
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V&A Dundee, Scotland’s first design museum, will open to the public on Saturday 15 September 2018, it has been revealed / V&A Dundee
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Les Mills International
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