Apparently it has been one year since building work began on the the V&A site. I know this because the architect Kengo Kuma came to see the site for himself on Friday and there was much publicity. The photos in this post were taken the night before and I had had no idea that it had been one year at that point. I got a better evening for it than Kengo; he should have been there to see the sun bathing the scaffolding in the evening Thursday sun, rather than the cold, grey day that he was presented with on the Friday.
Anyway, the reason I thought it merited a post was because I drive past here every day on my short commute to work. Prior to Christmas there was very little to see but now, everyday it feels as though something new has been added.
It’s fascinating to see the building process, trying to work out what they are doing and why. I wonder sometimes if there are parallels with the ship-building world for which Dundee was once famous for, with the Discovery sitting next door as a reminder. If you look at old photos of the Discovery being built you see a huge site with the skeleton of the ship at the centre. Zoom forward to the present and now we have the skeleton of something quite different but something quite unique to Dundee and the city is completed invested in it. It’s exciting times in Dundee!
Surrounding the site are boards covered in a specially designed cartoon strip focused on the design process and the connection that design has with the city. We are, after all, the first city in the UK to be awarded with UNESCO City of Design status!
Dundee is a city with …
This is echoed in the regeneration of the waterfront which once consisted of a jumble of Victorian buildings, 60’s architecture which really did not show buildings of this period at their best, an 80’s concrete block for a swimming pool and a 90’s block of a hotel that looked as though it had been put together with children’s building blocks. This is all gone and now we have space…
A grid system has been put in place and there are various building plots which are due to be filled but I’m hoping that they still manage to retain this sense of space in the long run. I think Dundee is the best-sited city in the UK, with it’s links to the hills to the North, the sea to the East, the river to the South and the rest of Scotland to the West, keeping the sense of space and place is vital.
Anyway, I have the feeling there will be more posts on this as the site continues to develop at a pace and I know I will be back taking more photos. In other news, I am on holiday and I am very happy to be off! It’s not a long break but much-needed and I have lots of plans which I am looking forward to sharing on here, on Twitter (@thebusythistle) and on Instagram (@thebusythistle). Thank you for reading!