How do you get the world to sit up and take notice of one of your smaller cities? It all starts with the honour of getting to host the first V&A museum outside of London.
When the Dundee Partnership first began creating a masterplan to re-integrate the central waterfront area with the city centre, they could never have imagined the transformation 20 years later.
Gaining approval in 2001, the masterplan seeks to realise the exceptional opportunity provided by the waterfront and created a shared vision for the area of a distinct identity and sense of place, with a framework for future investment.
The groundwork over the first decade culminated in the announcement in 2009 of the V&A Dundee, the first Victoria and Albert museum outside of London, an exciting proposition for this east coast city which sits on the Tay estuary. The project moved on with an international design competition to appoint an architect, and the following year, in 2010, Japanese architects, Kengo Kuma & Associates, were announced as the prestigious winner.
"We are delighted that our vision for the V&A Dundee building, which was originally inspired by the beautiful River Tay setting, is now starting to take physical shape. I am very proud to be part of this exciting development for the city of Dundee and Scotland and to be creating a museum that will inspire people to visit from the UK and beyond".
Opening on Saturday 15 September 2018, Scotland’s first design museum will be the global home of our country’s design heritage. The museum will give an insight into over 500 years of brilliance, ingenuity and achievement in Scottish creativity and the best examples of design from around the world.
Nearly 2,500 cast-stone panels form the sculptural façade of this waterfront museum. The complex geometry was inspired by the dramatic cliffs along the nearby east coast of Scotland and its beautiful location reconnects Dundee with its historic waterfront.
V&A Dundee will feature permanent galleries of Scottish design and an international programme of changing exhibitions.
The museum is so anticipated, it’s already been named the world’s best new museum to explore in 2018 by the Los Angeles Times, rating it ahead of major new attractions in Egypt and Tokyo.
The central waterfront of Dundee is the focal point of the project and also involves a new street pattern, a lovely green civic space, a modern rebuilt train station, new hotels and new commercial, leisure and residential outlets to support the expanding city.
Dundee was named one of the top 10 hot destinations in 2018 by the Wall Street Journal and the coolest little city in Britain by GQ Magazine.
It’s a great venue for culture, with Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee Rep, and numerous independent shops and galleries. A top destination for families, the city has a range of attractions including the McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum, Dundee Science Centre, and two floating museums, the RRS Discovery and the HM Unicorn.
It’s also the perfect base for exploring the neighbouring regions of Angus along the east coast, Fife which sits south across the river, and Perthshire to the north and west.