Civic Trust Awards
Level of Award
Local Authority Area
Information about this scheme
The design of V&A Dundee acts as a connector between the river and the city, creating a frame through which the river can be seen from the city and vice versa. The building acts as a gate through which the city can once again access the world, in a way which reflects on Dundee’s successful history of trade.
The building envelope is created by methods of twisting, connecting and layering the city grid axis and the adjacent RRS Discovery ship axis, using a ring structure made of reconstituted stone and concrete to compliment the traditional construction materials used in Dundee and reflect the natural cliff structure of the coastline.
The building’s form creates dramatic spaces with an impressive main hall forming a public indoor plaza, and areas that overhang the external public plaza. The external envelope draws people to the waterfront and generates a new migration route along the riverside promenade. The interior space of the main hall is filled with a gentle light emanating from apertures cut through the layered stone to create an open yet intimate public space.
The ground floor, which splits into two parts connecting on the upper floor, comprises the building entrance hall, reception, café and shop on the public part of the building; administration and back-of-house facilities on its second part.
The main hall is a welcoming social space: a ‘living room for the city’ designed to encourage the public to interact with the building. It is a fully programmed space hosting a variety of design-led events, a vibrant place for everyone to enjoy.
A space that captures the imagination of visitors and feels like an extension of the sequence of public spaces and plazas outside.
The second floor is dedicated to exhibition galleries: the permanent Scottish Design Galleries and the 1,100 sqm exhibition gallery which can also be subdivided into two galleries. In the same floor is a learning centre, a 150-seat auditorium, a design residency studio, a resource centre, a flexible open space for the Michelin Design Gallery and a restaurant with a beautiful view over the River Tay.
V&A Dundee has welcomed half a million visitors to the museum since it opened to the end of March 2019, hitting the milestone almost six months earlier than expected.
Kengo Kuma & Associates
James F Stephen Architects
Optimised Environments (OPEN)
Dundee City Council
Turner & Townsend
Primary Use Class
Class D1e - Museums