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Kengo Kuma wins V&A Dundee contest

[FIRST LOOK] Japanese practice Kengo Kuma and Associates has won the high-profile contest to design a new £47 million outpost for the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in Dundee

Working with Scotland’s cre8architecture and Arup, Kengo Kuma’s ‘bold and ambitious, but buildable and practical’ waterfront scheme was selected unanimously from an impressive six-strong shortlist.

The losing finalists include Steven Holl Architects with JM Architects, Viennese practice Delugan Meissl Associated Architects, New York-based REX with Urban Splash, Snøhetta with Gareth Hoskins Architects and a team led by Sutherland Hussey Architects in collaboration with 3DReid, AECOM and Gross.Max (click here to see all the shortlisted schemes).

The proposed ‘international centre for design’ will sit in the River Tay south of Craig Harbour and is part of the Dundee Waterfront regeneration project, which is backed by a partnership between the V&A, the University of Dundee, the University of Abertay Dundee, Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise.

Mike Galloway, judge and director of City Development for Dundee City Council, said: ‘We have subjected each of the six proposals to exhaustive scrutiny, including having external assessors do a detailed examination of projected costs, and we did not have to exclude any of the submissions on grounds of affordability.’

This is a harmonious and integrated response to this unique site

He added: ‘The Kengo Kuma design gives us something which is bold and ambitious but buildable and practical. It is a beautiful stone building which elegantly meets the requirements we laid out in the brief. This is a harmonious and integrated response to this unique site, which enhances the overall Waterfront Project.’

‘It is a beautiful stone building that elegantly meets the requirements we laid out in the brief.’

The new building is expected to start on site in 2012 and could open its doors to the public in 2015.

Kengo Kuma said: ‘It is a great honour to hear the news and my team and I are grateful for this significant opportunity. I am thrilled to be able to work with those at V&A at Dundee in order to give shape to their vision, to contribute meaningfully to the cultural richness of the city.

‘It will be an exciting endeavour that will combine the tradition and heritage of the Victoria and Albert Museum and our new ideas.
Furthermore, we are enthusiastic about the amazing site, the city and environment - it is our intention to find a balanced approach to nature and the city life of Dundee. We wish to bring our best efforts forward, with vigour and passion.’

The jury panel made their unanimous decision after an extensive process of assessing the designs, interviewing the architects and their teams, and viewing some of their previous work. The public view was also ‘factored in’ with thousands of questionnaires and comments drawn from the 13,000-plus people who visited the exhibition and those who viewed it online.

Readers' comments (3)

  • I hope they've thought about how to keep the windows clean....

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  • Some rehashed ideas PLOT did a while back. That is not a compliment.

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  • I do hope this comes in on budget and if it doesn't that it is the QS that gets the blame as opposed to the architects! Too many projects appear substandard purely due to poor QS. Time will tell.

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