The first ever outpost of London’s Victoria & Albert Museum is set to open on September 15. Here’s a sneak-peek into what’s on view
Just 90 minutes from Edinburgh, the small seaside town of Dundee in Scotland has grown into a hub for Scottish creativity. In 2014, it became the first city in the UK to be designated as a UNESCO City of Design for its homegrown art scene. It’s no wonder then that the V&A chose to set its only outpost outside London here.
The Victoria & Albert Museum of Design, Dundee is the first of its kind in Scotland. Even before its opening on September 15, the institution has become a landmark in its own right. Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the iconic waterfront building reconnects Dundee to the River Tay, the city’s historic trading route and its source of economic growth for centuries, the shipbuilding industry. The 86,000 sq ft structure features curving concrete walls, created using 2,500 pre-cast rough stone panels to mimic the appearance of a Scottish cliff face.
The museum houses an open-plan cafe, restaurant and gift shop, designed by Lumsden Design as flexible, welcoming spaces. These have been created using a palette of European oak, blackened steel, textiles and bespoke concrete, inspired by the building’s architecture as well as the surrounding landscape and Dundee’s industrial and shipbuilding heritage.
An ode to the city’s shipbuilding history, ‘Ocean Lines: Speed and Style’ will be on display till February 24, 2019. It will focus more on the glamour than the mechanics – exploring ships’ designs, cultural significance, interiors and on-board lifestyles.
The V&A’s permanent Scottish Design Galleries will host 300 exhibits – some dating back to the 15th century – from the fields of architecture, fashion, furniture, video games and healthcare products, borrowed from V&A London, other museums, private collections, and Scottish and worldwide designers. A key highlight is the ‘Oak Room’, originally created by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1907, which will be displayed in public for the first time in 50 years.