Arquitectura Viva
Friday, April 19, 2019

Kengo Kuma & Associates, V&A Museum of Design in Dundee

The Victoria & Albert Museum of Design is the first British building by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, and the only museum dedicated exclusively to design in Scotland. On the banks of the Tay River, with a budget of 80 million pounds, it will host important exhibitions, honor the long tradition of Scottish design, promote contemporary talent, and foster innovation. The result is an iconic building, as well as a constructive and technological challenge, as can be seen in the curved concrete walls with almost impossible inclinations, and the manufacture and installation of horizontal stone pieces, which have required to be produced by 3D modeling.

Situated on the banks of the River Tay, the new center seeks a harmonious relationship with the city and with the public spaces. The project was born with the aim of reconciling the tourist potential on a worldwide level with the daily use by locals.

The formal inspiration of the facade arises from the natural structures that characterize the cliffs of the northwest coast of Scotland; the image of the museum is conceived as a focus of attraction that generates new paths along the riverbank promenade.

The hall is ‘a living-room for the city,’ a social space dedicated to design. It is colonized by a soft light emanating from the openings on the stratified stone; an open but intimate public place, with a blurred boundary between outdoors and indoors.

The envelope is projected through the torsion and connection of the axes from the city grid and the RRS Discovery ship-museum. Due to its relation with the water, the volume minimizes the footprint of the building and expands its surface in plan as it ascends in height.

Double curvature reinforced concrete walls provide the building shell. 2,466 precast stone pieces, weighing between 1.5 and 2.5 tons, are individually fixed to the concrete walls by means of two specifically designed steel brackets.
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