V&A At Dundee
The city of Dundee has always had a very close relation with the Tay river, and thus with its waterfront. The historical evolution of Dundee’s harbor has developed in parallel with the city’s economical and social changes, continuously changing the relation of the city with the river and the perception of it.
After the slowdown of port-related industries the transformation of the riverfront has continued but until recently, due to a lack of a strong urban fabric, there has not been a connection between the city center and the Tay.
Today with the new waterfront Masterplan there is a great chance to re-engage a close relation between Dundee and the river.
The location selected for the museum creates the opportunity for a network of public spaces, each with a different character, to connect the old center of Dundee to the new cultural center embodied by the V&A.
The design of the building constantly maximizes its amazing location. It is surrounded by a promenade providing an excellent vantage point to view the river, the City and the spectacular new museum itself.
The signature restaurant and its panoramic terrace are positioned to offer spectacular views of both the Tay estuary and Tay Road Bridge.
Terraces on the main museum floor open the public space to the outside and create several panoramic points of view from which to enjoy the beauty of the Tay landscape and its ever-changing light. These external spaces also provide the perfect backdrop for summer pavilions.
Central to the building’s all-inclusive ethos is its monumental welcome hall, a multi-functional space suitable for a range of social events and activities – from concerts and workshops to large-scale installations and performance.
The double height DIA center, located at an intermediate level above the main entrance, enable visitors to get a look at the workshop without disturbing the artist at work.
All the galleries, illuminated by skylights on the roof, have the possibility to be either completely darkened, or to just use artificial light depending on the necessity of the exhibitions.
The striking structural facade – composed of horizontal concrete bands clad in reconstituted stone – creates a dynamic texture, open to both natural light and ventilation. This banding also provides thermal mass – keeping the gallery spaces cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Reconstituted stone has the qualities of natural stone yet will be locally sourced, is more environmentally friendly, lower cost and higher performance.
|I am thrilled to be able to work with those at V&A at Dundee in order to give shape to their vision and to contribute meaningfully to the cultural richness of the city.|