V&A at Dundee, Architect – Museum Building

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V&A at Dundee

Museum in Tayside: Waterfront Building Scotland – design by Kengo Kuma & Associates, Japan

18 Jan 2015

V&A at Dundee Costs

V&A in Dundee Costs Spiral

Inquiry calls as “fiasco” of Dundee’s V&A museum costs balloon: Ministers should investigate the spiralling costs of one of Scotland’s most prestigious new buildings, it has been claimed, reports Herald Scotland, 17th January 2015.

The call came after it emerged the landmark V&A museum on Dundee’s waterfront has risen dramatically from £49m to more than £80m.

V&A at Dundee

Leading Scottish architects have described the escalating costs and delays of the project, an ambitious design by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, as a “fiasco”.

Scottish Labour asked how an “SNP led council and the SNP Government” had allowed the budget of what was hoped to be an iconic museum to spiral so dramatically.

V&A at Dundee

The building, which will show exhibits from the V&A in London as well as a permanent exhibition of the history of Scottish design, is a key part of Dundee’s £1bn waterfront regeneration project but now will open a year late, in 2018.

A new report by the city’s director of development shows that the project, to be built by BAM Construction Ltd, is now costed at £31m above its previously approved budget.

V&A at Dundee

Professor Alan Dunlop, one of Scotland’s leading architects, said that the situation was a “fiasco” and laid part of the blame at the organisers of the museum, who chose the ambitious Kuma design, which has already been altered significantly.

He said: “It is a fiasco, but it is entirely predictable I am afraid. From the start it seemed obvious that the cost would rise. I feel sorry for Charlie Sutherland (Scottish architect short listed for the project) but they went for the superstar Japanese architect.

V&A at Dundee V&A at Dundee V&A at Dundee

“You have to believe Dundee will have to make it work – it would be a disaster for the city if it does not, but it is a fiasco and it has to be asked whether the costs will go up again. I am very unhappy about it, it does not show Scotland or how we handle architectural competitions in a good light.”

V&A at Dundee waterfront

Sutherland, of Sutherland Hussey, based in Edinburgh, said: “After four years of design development, design reviews, cost cutting, moving site, value engineering, postponement and procrastination by a raft of design and cost consultants the conclusion that the awarded design is double the original cost is not really a surprise to anyone involved in the competition process. What a fiasco.”

V&A at Dundee Costs – report in full

18 Jan 2013

V&A at Dundee virtual flythrough:

17 Jan 2013

V&A at Dundee – Funding News

V&A in Dundee Donations

£4m in private donations have been recieved for the V&A museum in Dundee, which will go towards the project’s fundraising target of £45m.

The design is by the celebrated Japanese architects Kengo Kuma & Associates.

Donations have been received from individuals, trusts and foundations. Among those who have donated are W S Philips Charitable Trust, Leng Charitable Trust, Misses Barrie Charitable Trust, Binks Trust, and Dunard Fund.

The funding announcement comes as the project displays its latest building plans as part of a new exhibition open to the public:

17 – 19 Jan from 10am to 4pm

Bernard King Library, University of Abertay, Dundee

V&A at Dundee building proposal:

V&A Dundee Building

image from architects

Outline plans for the new site alongside the latest visuals and vision for the project will be on display. Visitors will be encouraged to share their views with staff across the three days.

Architect Kengo Kuma’s revised plans show V&A at Dundee moving shorewards – closer to the RSS Discovery and other city attractions and into the heart of Dundee’s redeveloped central waterfront. The plans also detail the way in which the ‘iconic building’, created from two separate structures arching up to meet each other will be built within two pools of water, reinforcing the connection between the building and the River Tay.

V&A at Dundee waterfront building

Philip Long, Director of V&A at Dundee, said: “We remain absolutely committed to developing an outstanding building to good time and on budget. Our proposal for the location of the building gives Dundee greater certainty of this, while retaining the integrity of Kengo Kuma’s design for a new institution of national importance. We are looking forward to sharing with the public these latest plans, and are delighted to report such good progress is being made on fundraising.”

This is the first time the amended plans will be on show to the public. The revised planning application will be lodged with Dundee City Council later this year following the 12 week public consultation period.

8 Oct 2012

V&A at Dundee – Funding News

Focus on delivering V&A at Dundee

Culture Secretary confirms £3 million funding during visit to photo exhibition

The V&A at Dundee is set to receive £3 million of Scottish Government funding in 2013-14, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs has announced.

V&A at Dundee building proposal:

V&A Dundee design

image from architects

Fiona Hyslop confirmed the allocation during a visit to a major exhibition of photographs from the V&A collection, ‘Selling Dreams: One Hundred Years of Fashion Photography’, which is on display at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum. The exhibition is the latest in the pre-opening programme for V&A at Dundee.

The Culture Secretary was updated on progress to deliver the project during the visit, her first to Dundee since the City Council granted planning permission.

Ms Hyslop said:

“This display offers a tantalising glimpse of the fantastic quality of exhibition that we can expect to see at V&A at Dundee when it opens. Content of this calibre shows the potential for this visionary project to strengthen the global reputation of Scotland – and Dundee in particular – as a centre of excellence for the creative industries.

“V&A at Dundee is an international cultural project that will attract visitors from all over the world. It is also at the heart of this city’s waterfront regeneration, the benefits of which are already beginning to be appreciated not only in Dundee but across Scotland.

V&A at Dundee waterfront design

“That is why I have allocated £3 million to this project in 2013-14, as part of the total £18 million funding package from the Scottish Government. This substantial financial contribution demonstrates our commitment to continue investing in capital projects such as this to support economic recovery and create more jobs.”

V&A at Dundee director Philip Long said:

”I am delighted to welcome the Cabinet Secretary to this exhibition, which shows the stunning quality of the material which the V&A can provide. We are of course extremely grateful for the Scottish Government’s support of our project, which is invaluable in helping bring V&A at Dundee to fruition.”

V&A at Dundee building proposal:

V&A Dundee Kuma

image from architects


The Scottish Government has allocated a total of £3 million to V&A at Dundee project in the 2013-14 draft budget comprising £2.5 million capital and £0.5 revenue funding. This is part of the £18.261 million total Scottish Government funding already confirmed following the 2011 Spending Review. This includes £15 million capital towards the project’s £45 million construction cost and £1.75 million revenue funding from 2012-15. The V&A in Dundee has already received £1.511 million interim support from the Scottish Government since 2010.

V&A at Dundee is being delivered by Design Dundee Ltd, a ground-breaking partnership between the Victoria and Albert Museum – the world’s greatest museum of art and design – and Dundee City Council, the Universities of Dundee and Abertay Dundee, and Scottish Enterprise. The building is being designed by a team led by architects Kengo Kuma & Associates.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded the project a first round pass* of up to £9.2m, including £200,000 development funding, in May 2102. The Scottish Government has committed £15m in capital towards the project’s £45 million budget.


The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity. It was established to make works of art available to all and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Today, the V&A’s collections, which span over 2000 years of human creativity in virtually every medium and from many parts of the world, continue to intrigue, inspire and inform. The V&A has the oldest museum collection of photographs and the UK’s National Collection of the Art of Photography.

The McManus is operated by Leisure & Culture Dundee, working in partnership with Dundee City Council.

14 Sep 2012

V&A at Dundee – Approval News

V&A Museum Project Recommended for Approval by Dundee City Council

The £45 million V&A Museum project has been officially recommended for approval by Dundee City Council.

The Victoria and Albert museum, designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, will be the centrepiece of the £1 billion waterfront regeneration.

V&A at Dundee building proposal:

V&A Dundee Kengo Kuma

image from architects

The council is the applicant for the V&A at Dundee project on which work is hoped to start next spring, with a scheduled completion date of 2014 and opening the following year.

In a report to Monday’s meeting of the development management committee, city development director Mike Galloway said Victoria and Albert at Dundee will be an important centre for Scotland.

He said there are no reasons to justify refusal of planning permission, recommending the project be approved subject to conditions on the infilling of Craig Harbour, landscaping, construction timings and drainage.

He said: “A feasibility study commissioned by Dundee University, Scottish Enterprise and the Victoria and Albert estimates the potential impact is for 500,000 visits annually. This includes the use of the bar, restaurant and conference space as well as the galleries.

26 Jan 2012

V&A at Dundee – Funding News

Scottish Government Commits Additonal Funding

Another £1.75 million of Government funding has been committed to the V&A at Dundee over the next three years, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has announced.

It brings the total Scottish Government support for the project to more than £18 million, including the £15 million capital investment already confirmed.

The new revenue funding was announced by Fiona Hyslop today on a visit to Dundee’s waterfront where the new museum will be built. Preparatory work at the site began on Monday.

The Culture Secretary said: “The V&A at Dundee is an international cultural project which has the potential to bring great benefits to the city and the whole of Scotland. It will attract visitors from all over the world and presents an opportunity to strengthen Dundee’s reputation as a centre for the creative industries.

“In the Year of Creative Scotland 2012, I am delighted to confirm the Scottish Government is making a further £1.75 million available to the V&A at Dundee. These additional funds will be used to support key activities associated with the project including programming exhibitions, developing education programmes, working with designers and creative practitioners, and fundraising.

“Our significant financial contribution will enable the V&A at Dundee – with its iconic waterfront building – to work towards opening in 2015, placing the project at the centre of Dundee’s regeneration.

“It is fantastic to see investigative work underway to prepare the site for construction. With employment in that sector in Scotland predicted to grow at nearly twice the UK average over the next few years, it is clear this Government’s decision to continue investing in capital projects such as this is paying dividends for jobs and the economy.”

Philip Long, Director of the V&A at Dundee, said: “We intend that V&A at Dundee will be an international centre of design for the widest public, housed in a world-class building at the heart of Dundee’s developing waterfront. The Culture Secretary’s announcement today assures that work can continue on the development of V&A at Dundee, from planning through to implementation and opening.

“V&A at Dundee will show major exhibitions of international design, celebrate our own design heritage, inspire and help develop contemporary talent, and encourage design innovation for the future. We are delighted to have the Scottish Government’s continuing wholehearted support for this vision.”

V&A at Dundee Architect : Kengo Kuma

V&A Dundee – contest won Kengo Kuma & Associates, 3 Nov 2010

V&A Dundee Museum

Kengo Kuma

The winners of the V&A competition are Kengo Kuma & Associates, a middle-size architectural practice founded in 1990 in Japan with their European offices based in Paris.

Architect Kengo Kuma said: “It is a great honour to hear the news and my team and I are grateful for this significant opportunity. I am thrilled to be able to work with those at V&A at Dundee in order to give shape to their vision, to contribute meaningfully to the cultural richness of the city. It will be an exciting endeavour that will combine the tradition and heritage of the Victoria and Albert Museum and our new ideas. Furthermore, we are enthusiastic about the amazing site, the city and environment – it is our intention to find a balanced approach to nature and the city life of Dundee.”

Detailed design work is due to take place in 2011 with work on the V&A museum expected to start in autumn 2012.

“We were delighted by the quality of all the designs which were submitted to the competition and I think this is reflected in the huge public interest which our exhibition of models has generated,” said Lesley Knox, Chair of the V&A at Dundee project and of the jury panel. “Kengo Kuma’s proposal was the unanimous choice of the jury panel and is a worthy winner ; a building that will delight visitors and encourage them to revisit it again and again. It demonstrates a clear understanding of the city, offers a new experience of the river, and will be as exciting internally as it will be externally. This has the potential to be one of Europe’s most exciting buildings.”

The V&A competition jury panel made their unanimous decision after an extensive process of assessing the designs, interviewing the architects and their teams, and viewing some of their previous work. The public view was also factored in with thousands of questionnaires and comments drawn from the 13,000-plus people who visited the V&A exhibition and those who viewed it online.

“We have subjected each of the six proposals to exhaustive scrutiny, including having external assessors do a detailed examination of projected costs, and we did not have to exclude any of the submissions on grounds of affordability,” said Mike Galloway, Director of City Development for Dundee City Council and a member of the V&A competition panel.

“The Kengo Kuma design gives us something which is bold and ambitious but buildable and practical. It is a beautiful stone building which elegantly meets the requirements we laid out in the brief. This is a harmonious and integrated response to this unique site, which enhances the overall Waterfront Project.”

Sir Mark Jones, Director of the V&A, said the design offered `fantastic spaces to exhibit stunning design collections’. “I think this will become a major destination and will give us an internationally recognised building,” said Sir Mark. “It will reward repeat visits and attract attention from around the world.”

Kengo Kuma’s team for the V&A at Dundee project includes the Scottish firms cre8architecture, Optimised Environments Ltd, and CBA, and the engineering firm Arup, which has offices across Scotland, including in Dundee.

Kengo Kuma & Associates – V&A at Dundee architects

Kengo Kuma & Associates are involved in a wide range of design scales from furniture and product design to architecture and urban scale planning. Kengo Kuma is a Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Tokyo and has won many awards including the prestigious Architectural Institute of Japan Award in 1997. His stated goal is to recover the design of traditional buildings and to reinterpret it for the 21st century utilising the inspiration of light and nature to help achieve this.

V&A at Dundee Designs

V&A AT DUNDEE – designs unveiled

Six stunning designs for the V&A at Dundee project have been unveiled at an exhibition in the city. The `V&A at Dundee – Making it Happen exhibition features work from the six shortlisted teams of world-class architects and designers who have put forward outstanding ideas for a landmark building that will house the V&A at Dundee and dominate Dundees waterfront.

The six shortlisted architects who feature in the V&A exhibition are:

Delugan Meissl Associated Architects

V&A Dundee Delugan Meissl

Kengo Kuma & Associates

V&A Dundee


V&A Dundee


V&A Dundee

Steven Holl Architects

V&A Dundee

Sutherland Hussey Architects

V&A Dundee Sutherland Hussey

Sir Mark Jones, Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, expressed his excitement at the quality of the architects response to the V&A brief by saying, Fantastic designs from brilliant architects! Its great to see that the competition for the V&A at Dundee has attracted such a strong international response.

We have a range of designs that are very dynamic and exciting, said Mike Galloway, Director of City Development for Dundee City Council, one of the partners in the V&A at Dundee project.

The V&A competition shortlist features some of the brightest names in world architecture and design and I think they have shown with these designs why they are so highly rated. Our brief called for outstanding design to fit an outstanding location and I think the teams have lived up to that.

The V&A at Dundee will be Scotlands leading centre for design. Remarkable design requires a remarkable home, and the public are invited to get involved with shaping this project by giving their views on the proposals

These are fantastic designs and we hope as many people as possible visit the exhibition and the website and express their opinions on the models and designs, said Lesley Knox, Chair of Design Dundee Ltd, the company which has been established to drive the V&A at Dundee project forward, and Chair of the jury panel who will select the winning design team.

I am sure people will see things they really love and some will also have opinions that go the other way. But the key thing is that they make their opinions known, as it will feed into the jury panels decision.

The V&A exhibition is in the University of Abertay Dundee library in Bell Street, Dundee, from September 29th to November 4th. All are welcome to visit the exhibition and admission is free.

The V&A at Dundee is being delivered by Design Dundee Ltd, a ground-breaking partnership between the Victoria and Albert Museum – the worlds greatest museum of art and design – and the University of Dundee, the University of Abertay Dundee, Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise.

The V&A at Dundee is looking to create a landmark building, which will be sited at Craig Harbour right on the banks of the River Tay. The site is being made available through the Dundee Central Waterfront Partnership, the joint venture between Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise which is revitalising the prime area of land linking the city centre with the River Tay.

Designers were invited to make proposals for a building that reflects the V&A at Dundee project partnerships desire to stimulate commerce as well as local and visitor interest.

The V&A at Dundee will:

– be a rich and inspiring resource for design and creativity.

– attract visitors from Dundee, Scotland and further afield to world-class travelling and permanent exhibitions.

– improve the attractiveness of Dundee and its region to business.

V&A at Dundee – Shortlist News

A shortlist of architect and design teams competing for the V&A at Dundee project is announced today (27 May 27) and includes bidders from around the world.

The six shortlisted architects for the V&A at Dundee project:

- Delugan Meissl Associated Architects (Vienna)

– Kengo Kuma & Associates (Tokyo)

– REX (New York)

– Snøhetta (Oslo)

– Steven Holl Architects (New York)

– Sutherland Hussey Architects (Edinburgh)

Mark Jones, Director of the V&A with Scottish Government Minister Fiona Hyslop:

V&A Dundee

Sir Mark Jones, Director of the V&A, said, “We are delighted with the results of the international architectural competition which attracted so many entries from practices all over the world. This is a particularly strong shortlist which promises to produce an outstanding building that reflects the V&A’s unique partnership with Dundee.”

Over 120 architect and design teams from around the world made submissions to the design competition for the V&A at Dundee project, which aims to develop a new centre of 21st century design for Scotland at the heart of Dundee’s waterfront.

V&A at Dundee – Architects Shortlist

Delugan Meissl

Porsche Museum

The design team led by Delugan Meissl includes Wenzel+Wenzel (Germany), Werner Sobek (Germany) and Büro Kiefer (Germany).

Delugan Meissl

Kengo Kuma

Nagasaki Art Museum

Kengo Kuma’s team for the V&A project includes cre8architecture (Scotland), ARUP (UK), Optimised Environments Ltd (Scotland) and CBA (Scotland).

Kengo Kuma (link further up this page)


Dallas Performing Arts Center

The REX design team for the V&A project also includes Magnusson Klemencic Associates (USA), DCI (USA), Buro Happold (UK), Bureau Bas Smets (Belgium), Lord Cultural Resources (USA) and Urban Splash Group (UK).



Oslo Opera House

The Snøhetta multidisciplinary team for the V&A project includes Gareth Hoskins Architects (UK), Lord Cultural Resources (Canada), Davis Langdon (Scotland), Adams Kara Taylor (UK) and the BDSP Partnership (UK).


Steven Holl

Helsinki Contemporary Art Museum

The design team led by Steven Holl includes jmarchitects (Scotland), Guy Nordenson & Associates (USA), ARUP (Scotland), Thomas & Adamson (Scotland), Michael van Valkenburgh Associates (USA) and Transsolar Energietechnik (Germany).

Steven Holl

Sutherland Hussey

Chengdu City Museum

The V&A design team led by Sutherland Hussey includes 3DReid Architects (Scotland), AECOM (Scotland), Morham & Brotchie (Scotland), Gross Max (Scotland) and KSLD (Scotland).

Sutherland Hussey

V&A Museum Dundee : background information on the competition

To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.

Dundee Buildings

V & A Museum Building, London

V & A Boilerhouse Yard Building, London

Dundee Buildings

Maggies Centre, Ninewells
Design: Frank Gehry, architect
Maggies Centre Dundee
photo © Adrian Welch
Maggies Centre Dundee

Frank Gehry Dundee Building : Critique

Dundee Contemporary Arts
Richard Murphy Architects
Dundee Contemporary Arts
image from Richard Murphy Architects
Dundee Contemporary Arts

Queen Mother Building, Dundee University Campus
Page/Park Architects
Dundee University building
photo © Keith Hunter

Dundee University building

Apex Hotel Dundee

V & A Museum Jewellery Gallery

V & A Museum Gallery Design

V&A Museum Women’s Amenities

Frank Gehry Architecture

Comments / photos for the V&A at Dundee Architecture page welcome

V&A Museum Dundee Building

Website : Dundee