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Search for V&A Dundee galleries architect relaunched

V&A Museum of Design Dundee
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The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) has relaunched its search for an architect to design the flagship Scottish design galleries at its outpost in Dundee

The prestigious museum restarted its procurement process for the galleries – first launched in December – following a ‘change of specification and direction’ announced earlier this month.

In addition to the Scottish design galleries, the latest design contract covers an exhibition foyer which will provide the main circulation space for visitors.

A supporting structure for Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Oak Room – planned to be the centrepiece of the new galleries – has also been included in the contract. The supporting structure was previously included in a seperate conservation contract for the Oak Room which has also been re-advertised.

A V&A Museum of Design Dundee spokeswoman said the new arrangement would ‘allow the Oak Room to be better integrated into the overall design for the Scottish Design Galleries.’

Scheduled to complete in 2018, the Kengo Kuma-designed ‘V&A Museum of Design Dundee’ is the focus of the city’s £1 billion waterfront regeneration.

The new Scottish design galleries will occupy two of the £80.1 million museum’s four main exhibition spaces and will document the nation’s contribution to international design from the 18th century to the present day.

Focussing on the design process, materials and technological innovation – the galleries will feature around 250 objects drawn from the V&A’s collections ranging from furniture to fashion, architecture and the built environment to service and digital design.

Gallery highlights will include Mackintosh’s Oak Room which was originally built for Glaswegian entrepreneur Catherine Cranston and has been in storage since the 1970s.

The foyer will meanwhile connect the Scottish design galleries to the museum’s temporary exhibition spaces, learning areas, restaurant and other facilities.

A sponsored design lounge and pop-up shop – to be drawn up by a separate retail designer – will also be included within the circulation space.

According to the brief: ‘The lead designer should have the experience and vision to turn a new, purpose built space into an engaging display, highlighting the contemporary architectural features; and undertaking the display and interpretation of the objects and period room; combining sensitivity to the building, the subjects and the objects with an imaginative, sustainable and transformative approach.’

Experience in working collaboratively with the conservators to ‘provide structural support and interfaces between objects, period rooms and the galleries’ will also be required.

Last year it emerged costs on the competition-winning building had risen from £49 million to £80.1 million. An investigation into the ballooning costs published in the summer of 2015 concluded that the scheme was unlikely to ever come in on budget.

The scheme was originally forecast to cost £45million and was designed by the famous Japanese practice to sit in the River Tay south of Craig Harbour.

However the scheme was moved further inland in late 2012 to give the development team ‘greater certainty with regards to the building schedule’.

The Japanese architect, who is working with Scotland’s cre8architecture and Arup, was selected unanimously from an impressive six-strong shortlist to land the contest in November 2010.

The losing finalists included 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.

At the time Kuma’s vision was described as ‘bold and ambitious, but buildable and practical’.

The deadline for requests to participate is 10am on 16 May.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Scott Traynor
Dundee City Council
Corporate Procurement
Dundee House
50 North Lindsay Street

Tel: +44 1382434000
Fax: +44 1382433045



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