by matthew

Everything you need to know about visiting V&A Museum of Design Dundee

V&A Museum of Design Dundee

It’s been 10 years in planning but the day is finally here. The V&A Museum of Design Dundee is officially open to the public.

The only V&A Museum anywhere in the world outside London, this £80m building is one of Britain’s most jaw-dropping pieces of modern architecture and is set to put the Scottish city of Dundee firmly on the cultural map.

Here’s our guide to everything V&A Dundee and remember, we’re the closest hotel to the Museum and you can stroll from our lounge bar to the exhibition floor in less time than you can say “Kengo Kuma’s £80m mesmerising masterpiece.”

Kengo Kuma’s V&A Museum of Design Dundee

Cost: £80m

What is it? A museum dedicated to art, design and Scotland

Size: Floor space of 8,500 square metres (2.1 acres) including main hall, learning centre, auditorium, temporary exhibition galleries and the permanent Scottish Design Galleries

Architect: Kengo Kuma, Japan.

Designer of the new National Stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but the V&A is his first UK building. His practice won an international competition to design the new museum.

The Dundee skyline - enhanced by Kuma's V&A - Image by Frame Focus Capture Photography
The Dundee skyline – enhanced by Kuma’s V&A – Image by Frame Focus Capture Photography

Inspiration for the building: Kuma says the museum was inspired by the cliffs on Scotland’s north-east coastline.

The look of the V&A was achieved using 2,466 pre-cast stone panels, each weighing up to 3,000kg and spanning up to 4m, and cladding them into lines that ran horizontally around curving concrete structures.

Image courtesy of V&A Museum of Design Dundee
Image courtesy of V&A Museum of Design Dundee

The museum juts out over the River Tay and resembles the ‘prow’ of a ship, paying tribute to Dundee’s maritime heritage and its nearest neighbour, Captain Scott’s RSS Discovery, the vessel in which he undertook his polar expeditionary work.

Speaking at the launch of the museum, Kengo Kuma referred to the museum as a ‘living room for the city,’ and a conversation between humans and nature.

Who paid for it?: The Scottish Government, UK Government, Heritage Lottery Fund, Dundee City Council and a private fundraising campaign

Is it free?

The main permanent exhibition is free, as they are at London V&A.

Touring exhibitions will be paid entry, the first exhibition – Ocean Liners: Speed & Style -costing £12 for adults.

What can I see?

The V&A Dundee, like its parent museum in London, is a museum of art and design and you’ll be able to see some incredible art works and fascinating exhibitions charting the history of design in Scotland and the innovations which have defined modern industry in the UK and globally.

Here are some of the highlights:

Scottish Design galleries – 300 pieces borrowed from the V&A London and other Scottish collections including:

  • 15th-century illuminated manuscripts
  • A diamond “Valkyrie” winged tiara by Cartier made for the late Mary Crewe-Milnes, Duchess of Roxburghe
  • The costume worn by Natalie Portman in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. The embroidered dress and cloak were created by Glasgow designer Trisha Biggar

Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Oak Rooms

  • Rennie Mackintosh’s Oak Room has not been seen in public for about 50 years
  • The 45ft-long panelled room was designed for Miss Cranston’s Ingram Street tearooms in Glasgow, in 1907
  • It was saved from scrap in 1971 and stored by the city council
Image courtesy V&A Museum of Design Dundee
Image courtesy V&A Museum of Design Dundee

Ocean Liners: Speed & Style

A touring exhibition helping you to “re-imagine the golden age of ocean travel.”

Image courtesy of V&A Museum of Design Dundee
Image courtesy of V&A Museum of Design Dundee

The exhibition, already shown in London, explores the design and cultural impact of the ocean liner on an international scale.

You’ll see a wooden panel from the first-class lounge on Titanic, the biggest surviving fragment from the ship and a Christian Dior suit worn by actress Marlene Dietrich when she arrived in New York aboard the Queen Elizabeth liner in 1950.

When can I go?

The museum opened on Saturday September 15 to the public.

Open seven days a week: 10.00 – 17.00.

How to find it?

If you arrive into Dundee by train it couldn’t be easier. The new Dundee Rail Station and Sleeperz Hotel Dundee are literally across the road from the V&A.

If you’re parking or driving by car, use:

V&A Dundee

1 Riverside Esplanade, Dundee, DD1 4EZ, Scotland

Staying with Sleeperz Hotels

The opening of the V&A Museum of Design was a big reason why we chose to open our fourth UK hotel in Dundee.

Sleeperz Hotels is different, we are a design-led hotel brand that builds stylish and affordable city centre hotels, often on unusual pieces of land close to mainline rail stations.

Our passion for design and architecture has won us two RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) awards for our Cardiff and Newcastle Hotels.

Dundee is the perfect place for the V&A and for Sleeperz, both of which are dedicated to great design and architectural innovation.

Sleeperz Hotel ExteriorFB cover

Rooms from Sleeperz Hotel Dundee start from £59 per night and we offer a range of superior double, twin, family and accessible rooms.

Our lounge and bar has one of the best views of the V&A Museum in all Dundee and everyone is welcome, so book up today at:

Speaking of views, how’s this for a hotel room with a view?

view of the V&A Museum from Sleeperz Dundee
The V&A View from Sleeperz Hotel Dundee