Thursday, 4 November 2010
The Result Is In
It may not have won the people's vote but the design by one of Japan's leading architects is the unanimous winner of an international competition for a building to house a branch of the Victoria and Albert Museum in Dundee.
The design panel claim the building has the potential to become one of the top dozen iconic structures in the world and they are convinced that the 'exciting and dynamic' £45 million building will have the same impact on Dundee as Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum had on Bilbao.
What is disappointing is that Dundee University is reputed to offer one of the best architecture courses in the UK, yet we don't seem to find homegrown architects to design modern buildings. Do they emigrate once they graduate I wonder.
Somehow I feel the design panel's conviction that millions of foreign tourists will be descending on Dundee to glimpse this dod of stone and glass, balancing on the waterfront, is just a dream. The city deserves a boost like this because, since the heart of it was torn out in the 60s to make way for the road bridge, it had never really recovered its vibrancy.
Once the building is complete and stocked with the the delights the London Victoria and Albert offer, I will be in the queue to pay my, possibly exorbitant, entrance fee. It certainly be the talk of the Dundee tearooms for a long time to come.
One final point. Whoever is managing the project must ensure it doesn't become a fiasco like the Scottish Parliament or the continuing farce of a tramline in Edinburgh.