The highly sculptural V&A Museum of Design Dundee is Japanese architect Kengo Kuma’s first UK building – as well as Scotland’s very first dedicated design museum. The new structure is now complete and gearing up to throw open its doors to the public on 15 September. 

North Eastern Scotland’s ragged cliffs inspired the complex’s distinct shapes, which feature exterior cladding of layered horizontal cast-stone panels – there are some 2,500 sheets involved. At the same time, the concrete structure appears light, bearing an abstract resemblance to the prow of a ship, moored on the riverbank; it is no wonder the project was awarded Best Facade at the 2018 Wallpaper* Design Awards. 

Kuma wanted the building to welcome visitors with a strong design gesture. Located on the city’s waterfront, overlooking the River Tay, the new, three-storey high structure will also include a café, restaurant and learning facilities. The museum’s programme, which will be freely open to all, will include the best of Scottish design from all periods displayed via permanent and temporary shows, and a variety of education programmes. 

V&A Dundee will welcome the public through its doors for the very first time with a two-day long festival – the last month countdown has now began. Legendary Scottish band Primal Scream will appear in a specially commissioned new collaboration with Turner Prize-winning Scottish artist Jim Lambie. Light, sound and architecture will come together to celebrate the launch of Kuma’s striking contribution to Dundee. §