Dundee's V&A to become a work of art two years before it opens

An image of what Dundee's V&A museum will look like when it opens in 2018.

An image of what Dundee's V&A museum will look like when it opens in 2018.

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Dundee's new V&A museum is set to be turned into a glow-in-the-dark work of art - two years before the waterfront attraction opens its doors to the public.

A host of the city's most striking landmarks will also become the backdrop for spectacular light shows at the finale of a year-long celebration of Scotland's best architecture in November.

Special effects will be installed on the vast construction site of Japanese architect Kengo Kuma's V&A building, which will be the only design museum in the UK outside London when it is completed.

The city's 15th century "Steeple," Scotland's oldest surviving medieval tower, a 16th century graveyard, a former printworks where annuals like The Beano and Dandy were made in the 1960s and 1970s, the McManus Galleries and the Caird Hall will all be part of the event.

Leading artists will be creating special installations for the Festival of Architecture "Light Nights," which will also feature a torchlight procession, choir singing, pyrotechnics, theatre productions, an architectural walking trail and a night-time market.

Giant-sized pods which create light waves and "massage-like movements" will be installed on the street of the city centre to direct passers-by to Slessor Gardens, the city's new waterfront park, which was opened by the Queen earlier this year, and overlooks the site of new V&A museum.

More than 400 events are part of the Festival of Architecture, which was instigated by the Royal Incorporation of Architecture in Scotland and is one of the major elements of the Scottish Government's Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

The winner of a public poll to honour the best building of the last 100 years in Scotland will be announced at the opening of Light Nights on 18 November.

Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "Each event in the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design has celebrated and promoted Scotland’s many achievements in innovation, architecture and design and inspired Scots and visitors alike.

“2016 has also seen Dundee undergo a significant amount of architectural regeneration, not least Kengo Kuma’s extraordinary work on V&A Museum of Design Dundee.

"Light Nights is an opportunity to highlight the city’s most striking architecture from the old to the new, including the V&A Dundee construction site. I’m looking forward to attending the celebrations in November to mark the end of the Festival of Architecture and the start of Dundee’s annual Christmas festivities.”

Philip Long, director of V&A Dundee, said: “The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design has been an exciting one across Scotland and I think it is especially significant that the Festival of Architecture finale will be held in Dundee.

“The illumination of V&A Dundee under construction, showing off the remarkable supporting structure containing the walls of the museum's growing, dynamic form, will be a fantastic sight.

"As a UNESCO-designated City of Design, Dundee has an exciting time ahead. Light Nights will be a great way of getting people involved in this across the city.”

David Dunbar, chair of the Festival of Architecture said: “It is a very fitting way to bring the festival to a close by celebrating Dundee’s fine architecture of the past and the future at the Light Nights event.

"It’s been a triumphant year with over 400 vibrant and varied festival events and 800,000 people from across Scotland getting involved and taking part. We're looking forward to an illuminating finale for the Festival in Dundee this November.”

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