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​Shipshape: Kuma ‘delighted and satisfied’ with V&A Dundee progress

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Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has said he is pleased with how work is progressing on his £80 million V&A Dundee after visiting the site for the first time

Kuma, who won the competition for the new museum back in 2010, arrived in Scotland following the removal of the temporary cofferdam, which had allowed the 8,190m² museum to be built into the River Tay.

Originally expected to cost £49 million, the budget for the project controversially rocketed by £31 million and its opening date was pushed back by three years to 2018.

Kuma’s contest-winning designs were also moved further inland in late 2012 to give the development team ‘greater certainty with regards to the building schedule’.

Kuma, however, said he was ‘delighted and satisfied’ with what had been achieved to date, adding: ‘The realisation of the strong façade is great. We were able to express the dynamic scale of the interior, too – just as we had planned.’

Construction has now completed on the exterior walls, featuring 2,500 cast stone panels to create ‘the appearance of a cliff face’.

Explaining his design process, Kuma said: ‘My inspiration always starts from the place where the project will be. In the past, I visited Scotland many times, this very beautiful country, and I’m truly in love with the Scottish landscape and nature.’

He added: ‘I really hope once finished this project will attract many people from the UK, and around the world, to the city and the museum. I hope as well that people from Dundee will use it as an everyday part of their city; that they will go there to enjoy the building with its surrounding public space and find a harmonious relationship between the museum, the riverside, the city and themselves.’

The V&A’s Dundee outpost is being billed as ‘an international centre for design, a place of inspiration, discovery and learning’ and will showcase ‘the largely untold story of Scotland’s outstanding design achievements’.

Its permanent collections will be accompanied by the V&A’s international touring exhibitions.

An exact opening date next year has not yet been announced.

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