City unveils new museum
Dundee celebrates as world focuses on ‘V & Tay’
Kengo Kuma: architect (pic: Terry Murden)
Dundee may have given its name to a type of cake and still be known the world over for its long association with jute and jam-making. Never before, however, has it welcomed the attention of a global audience in quite spectacular fashion.
The opening of the V&A Dundee, nicknamed by its London parent as the V & Tay, according to director Tristram Hunt, opened its doors to 200 media representatives who had arrived from all over the world eager to get a glimpse inside architect Kengo Kuma’s waterfront building.
While the dramatic geometry of the exterior, jutting out ship-like from the shoreline, has been well documented, the interior has been kept a closely guarded secret.
Philip Long, the director, John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council, and Mr Hunt, inevitably spoke of its striking design and the institution’s contribution to the culture and design history of the city and Scotland.
It is also seen as an important contributor to Dundee’s resurgence and new-found place among destination cities. While sceptics may regard that as a touch of hyperbole, the evidence for its growing popularity was given by Mr Alexander who said that overnight visitor stays were up 9.8% in the months ahead of today’s opening.
The new museum shares the waterfront with the famous Discovery (pic: Terry Murden)
Mr Long announced that a £15m target fund-raising from the private sector had been reached and said the museum was a “symbol of Dundee’s growing confidence.”
He said the recreated Charles Rennie Mackintosh oak room, the centrepiece of a Scottish design exhibition, had most excited him among the items on display. The other temporary exhibition features items from the great age of the ocean liners.
With a floor area of 8445 square metres, V&A Dundee has the largest museum-standard temporary exhibition space in Scotland.