steven holl architects: V&A at dundee shortlisted design

milimetdesign updated from www.designboom.com


design proposal of ‘V&A at dundee’ by steven holl architects
all images courtesy steven holl architects and V&A at dundee

steven holl architects is one of the six shortlisted teams for the international design competition
of a new cultural and design center in scotland, ‘V&A at dundee‘. organized by london’s
victoria and albert museum, abertay and dudee universities, dundee city council and
scottish enterprise, the winning design is planned to open in 2014.

aiming to restore and regenerate the earl grey harbour as the foreground to the new museum,
steven holl’s design proposal includes a new landscape and water public space that can seamlessly
integrate the new center to the city of dundee. the structure, which rises out of the river tay,
reflects the royal arch in dundee, a monumental gate built in 1853, with a vertical hight equal
to the original gate.  during the night, the building is lit by a system of automated lights which
becomes a measure of time by the sequence in which it shimmers.


the museum next to the ‘RSS discovery’

a wide bridge connects the shore promenade to the museum’s open portal which overlooks
the river tay. the vertically open main hall leads the visitors up to the loft-like galleries,
studios, and exhibition spaces. glass-walled elevators located in the center of the museum
and open stair circuit provide clear orientation and connectivity between the various levels
of galleries and design activities. by dividing and organizing the various programs along
this vertical circuit, galleries can be maintaine without interrupting the public flow.
the free circulation also offers the visitor choice and unexpected discoveries.


view from union street

the new museum’s sail-shaped geometry features a floating translucent skin of fine,
stainless steel mesh. not only does this material provide a windshielding effect,
it diffues direct sunlight by serving as a semi-transparent membrane over openings
to the galleries. at night, this screen has the capability to glow with reflected light.


the V&A on the water

the design features three ‘floating landscapes’. at the river level, the first is a green platform
with a cafe that rises and descends with the moving tide. the second is along the entry,
where a landscape of local vegetation floats above a utility space for museum receiving
and storage. the third is in the restored earl grey harbour where a floating park bring
the public to water leve. all three ‘floating landscapes’ aims to provide visitors with an
intimate connection to the river.


site plan


north elevation


longitudinal section


cross section


(left) watercolour rendering of lobby
(right) loft-like galleries


floor plan / level -1


floor plan / level 0


floor plan / level 1


floor plan / level 2


floor plan / level 3



floor plan / level 4


floor plan / level 5


floor plan / level 6

the other shortlisted firms are REX, kengo kuma, delugan meissl, snøhetta, and sutherland hussey.

the university of abertay dundee is currently hosting ‘V&A at dundee – making it happen’
which will exhibit all six shortlisted designs in drawings and models. the public is invited
to give their input and opinions of the designs until the 4th of november, 2010.
the winner will be announced in early november with the final building planned to open in 2014.

  • Source: steven holl architects/ www.designboom.com
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