First images of new V&A Dundee revealed

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The first images of the interior of the new V&A Dundee have been released ahead of its official opening at the weekend.

Described as a “living room for the city”, the £80.1 million Kengo Kuma-designed building opens to the public on Saturday.

The images show the staircase, main entrance hall and some of the galleries in the new museum, which is the centrepiece of the ongoing £1 billion regeneration of Dundee’s waterfront.

The Scottish Design Galleries feature 300 exhibits drawn from the V&A’s rich collections of Scottish design, as well as from museums and private collections across the world.

The V&A Dundee was designed by Kengo Kuma
The museum opens to the public on Saturday (Hufton+Crow/V&A Dundee/PA)

One of the highlights is the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Oak Room – the conserved and painstakingly reconstructed interior of Miss Cranston’s Ingram Street tearoom which has been unseen for 50 years.

Philip Long, director of V&A Dundee, said: “The opening of V&A Dundee is a historic occasion for Dundee, for the V&A, and for the very many people who played a vital part and supported its realisation. This is a very proud moment for all involved.

“V&A Dundee’s aspiration is to enrich lives, helping people to enjoy, be inspired by and find new opportunities through understanding the designed world. After years of planning, we are thrilled at being able to celebrate the realisation of the first V&A museum in the world outside London.

“The museum’s light-filled wooden interior and impressive spaces inside have been designed to provide a warm welcome to visitors, described by architect Kengo Kuma as a ‘living room for the city’. We are all very excited indeed that we can now welcome everybody into this remarkable new museum.”

Interior of the V&A Dundee
The Charles Rennie Mackintosh Oak Room is one of the highlights of the collection (Hufton+Crow/V&A Dundee/PA)

More than 10,000 people are expected to attend an event at the museum on Friday, with thousands more visiting on Saturday for a family-based festival along the waterfront.

Architect Mr Kuma said: “The big idea for V&A Dundee was bringing together nature and architecture, to create a new living room for the city. 

“I’m truly in love with the Scottish landscape and nature. I was inspired by the cliffs of north-eastern Scotland – it’s as if the earth and water had a long conversation and finally created this stunning shape.

“It is also fitting that the restored Oak Room by Charles Rennie Mackintosh is at the heart of this building as I have greatly admired his designs since I was a student. In the Oak Room, people will feel his sensibility and respect for nature, and hopefully connect it with our design for V&A Dundee.

“I hope the museum can change the city and become its centre of gravity. I am delighted and proud that this is my first building in the UK and that people will visit it from around the world.”

Staircase inside the museum
Museum chiefs said the opening of V&A Dundee is a historic occasion for the city (Hufton+Crow/V&A Dundee/PA)

The £80.1 million project was funded by the Scottish Government, the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Creative Scotland, Dundee City Council, the UK Government, Scottish Enterprise, University of Dundee, Abertay University and a private fundraising campaign.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “V&A Dundee is a powerful symbol of Dundee’s new confidence and a major addition to Scotland’s world-class collection of museums and visitor attractions.”

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