VIDEO: V&A’s new £80m Dundee museum

9 June 2017 | By James Kenny

The V&A museum has released footage and photographs showing the progress of its new £80m museum in Dundee.

The BAM Construction-built project is set to open in summer 2018 and has been designed by Kengo Kuma, the internationally renowned Japanese architect who is also designing the Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium.

The design of V&A Dundee is inspired by the cliffs along Scotland’s north-eastern coastline.

Pictures show huge cast stone panels being hung on the curving walls of the building. The panels, which each weigh between 1.5 and 2.5 tonnes, are being individually fixed into place on the complex walls.

In total 2,466 panels will wrap around the outside of the museum, which is under construction on the edge of the River Tay, each held in place by two specially designed brackets.

The panels have been fitted to the riverside wall first, so work can begin on removing the cofferdam later this year. The cofferdam consists of 12,500 tonnes of stone and has allowed the museum to be built out over the river.

None of the external V&A Dundee building walls are straight so the process of making and installing the stone panels has had to be meticulously planned.

The shape of each one was designed in advance with the help of a 3D model. The panels, made from materials including stone aggregate, cement and reinforcement mesh, were then cast in moulds.

The drone footage shows an engineer inspecting panels fixed to the highest point of the building – an 18.4m (60ft) high wall built out into the river.

Mike Galloway, executive director of City Development at Dundee City Council, said: “V&A Dundee is an impressive feat of engineering and installing thousands of stone panels is the next stage of this ambitious build.

“Nothing like this has ever been constructed in Scotland before. In fact, I can’t think of another building anywhere in the world similar to this.

“Because the museum is so unique the team of constructors, designers and engineers have had to use the latest technology to realise the architect’s vision.”

Philip Long, director of V&A Dundee, said: “It is fantastic to see V&A Dundee take shape and a joy to watch as these panels transform the curved walls of the museum into the exciting form Kengo Kuma envisaged.

“As the building enters the final stages of construction excitement is growing as we look ahead to opening Scotland’s first design museum next year.”


This might be impressive but it is crazy architecture that must be very costly and will be a nightmare to maintain and eventually demolish. That is if none of the fabric doesn't drop off first.

Trevor Barfoot, 8 June 2017

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