Leader comment: Dundee building for the future

The wraps have come off Dundee's new V&A Museum of Design as most of the scaffolding has been removed from the outside of the building and you can see its shape for the first time.
The wraps have come off Dundee's new V&A Museum of Design as most of the scaffolding has been removed from the outside of the building and you can see its shape for the first time.
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It is by any definition a striking building. The removal of the scaffolding and boards around the V&A Museum of Design in Dundee allows the “naked shell” to be seen by the public. There will be panels now placed on the outside to give it a multi-layered look, so this is not really a good idea of what it will look like eventually, but it does let the world know that this is an imposing building.

It is almost two years to the day since work began on the project on the banks of the Tay and all the walls of the building have now been put in place.

Of course it has had its troubles. As well as looking a bit like the Scottish parliament in Holyrood (for now), it too has seen a massive increase in its costs, although not as astronomical as the Holyrood project.

Originally expected to cost £45 million, when the price tag rose to £80m the Scottish Government had to step in to make sure the project still went ahead.

And they were absolutely right to do so – this is not just a building that will attract people from all over the world, it also proclaims a new chapter for Dundee as it is the centrepiece of the £1 billion regeneration of the city’s waterfront.

But yesterday’s topping out ceremony was marking more than just a milestone in the progress of this project and it is not just about the economic contribution that this building will make to the city and Scotland.

Each age must create the architecture that is unique to it and must display it even in cities with huge cultural heritage and centuries of tradition. This ultra modern signature building is a demonstration of confidence, and a statement of intent.