A £40 million pound outpost of the Victoria and Albert Museum set on the Dundee waterfront gathered serious momentum, as the shortlisted designs were unveiled at an exhibition. The museum is scheduled to open by early 2015 and will focus on design and also host touring exhibitions.
The six shortlisted firms were chosen from more than 120 entries by firms around the globe.
1) Sutherland Hussey Architects, of Edinburgh
2) Viennese firm Delugan Meissl Associated Architects
3) Oslo-based Snohetta.
4) American-based firms REX
5) Steven Holl Architects
6) Kengo Kuma & Associates, which was founded in Japan.
Present at the unveiling were The Director of the V&A, Mark Jones, University of Dundee academics and administrators responsible for the establishment of the project, Sir Alan Langlands and Professor Georgina Follett, Dundee city planners and guests from the Baltic Centre, Gateshead and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
The MSP, Shona Robison pointed out that the proposed building project would provide Dundee with 900 new jobs and an annual income to the city of £2m. She acknowledged that there were challenges to overcome but that the project had the transformational ability to change Dundee for the future, and for more than just one sector. It would engender hope, ambition and a community spirit.
The Director of Bilbao’s urban regeneration company, Juan Alayo, of the Bilbao Ria 2000 organisation spoke in enthusiastic terms, pointing out the value of an iconic structure such as Frank Gehry’s iconic Guggenheim Museum. He called on Dundee to stage an international competition to find an architect worthy of the project. “I think a building like that makes a statement of people’s ambition and confidence. The Guggenheim has given people from Bilbao self-esteem and pride back because the city was in a very poor state in the 1980s, a desolate place to be in, grey, dirty. For something that is going to be a showcase for Dundee to look at, an international-level competition is not a bad way to go. It has to be functional, but to get a building that really sits there – is a statement of Dundee – that should be a priority. It has to be the piece that animates that waterfront and can become an image of Dundee.”
Sir Mark Jones, director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, described them as “fantastic designs from brilliant architects”. He added: “It’s great to see that the competition for the V&A at Dundee has attracted such a strong international response.” The new museum will be situated at Craig Harbour on the banks of the River Tay. It is being delivered by Design Dundee Ltd, a partnership between the Victoria & Albert Museum and the University of Dundee, the University of Abertay Dundee, Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise.Mike Galloway, director of city development for Dundee City Council, said: “We have a range of designs that are very dynamic and exciting.
“Our shortlist features some of the brightest names in world architecture and design and I think they have shown with these designs why they are so highly rated.
The jury will decide the winning design in early November. The exhibition of architectural drawings runs from September 29 to November 4.