V&A Dundee museum to open to public in September

The only V&A Museum outside London is to open its doors in September, arts chiefs have announced.

Designed by internationally-acclaimed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the £80.1 million V&A Dundee is the centrepiece of the £1 billion transformation of the city's waterfront.

Inspired by the dramatic cliffs along the east coast of Scotland, it stretches out into the River Tay creating a new landmark which promises to reconnect the city with its historic waterfront.

It will feature permanent galleries of Scottish design as well as an ambitious international programme of changing exhibitions showcasing the very best of design from around the world.

Philip Long, director of V&A Dundee, said: "After many years of planning for V&A Dundee, we are absolutely thrilled to announce the date of the new museum's opening.

"In just eight months we will be opening the doors and welcoming our first visitors.

"V&A Dundee is set to be a vital new cultural organisation for Dundee, the UK and beyond, helping to change understanding of just how important design and creativity are to people's lives.

"We are enormously grateful to all our supporters for helping to make this happen."

At the heart of the museum, the Scottish design galleries will tell the story of the country's international design heritage.

Curated in collaboration with the V&A, they will be free to enter and feature about 300 exhibits drawn from the V&A collections, museums and private collections across the world.

At the centre of these galleries will be Charles Rennie Mackintosh's magnificent Oak Room, fully restored and preserved for future generations.

The 13.5-metre-long panelled room was originally designed for Miss Cranston's Ingram Street tearooms in Glasgow in 1907 before being saved - and placed in storage in hundreds of pieces - almost 50 years ago.

The galleries will also feature a decorated 15th century Book of Hours, a Cartier "Valkyrie" diamond tiara, original Beano artworks from Dundee publishers DC Thomson.

The Michelin Design Gallery, meanwhile, will showcase contemporary design talent, starting with an exhibition presenting design prototypes created by young people in communities across Scotland from Orkney to Govan.

"Dynamic learning spaces" will accommodate visitors where they can learn from and participate in design creativity.

A design residency studio, multi-purpose auditorium for conferences, "design jams", community events and a restaurant with views over the River Tay are also envisaged.

Mr Long added:  "V&A Dundee brings something new to Scotland. It is the country's first museum dedicated to design, which visitors will be able to experience and get involved with in very many ways.

"Particularly important is that the new museum enables major V&A exhibitions to be seen more widely by more people across the UK.

"I am especially excited that part of V&A Dundee's opening programme will be the breath-taking exhibition Ocean Liners: Speed & Style, the first of many ambitious exhibitions at V&A Dundee that will show how our lives have been - and always will be - shaped by design."

V&A Dundee, funded by V&A, Dundee City Council, the University of Dundee, Abertay University and Scottish Enterprise, opens on September 15.

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