The new Victoria and Albert museum will be Scotland’s only museum dedicated to design

It was only recently that we wrote about the incredible $70 million makeover of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Executed by starchitect Amanda Levete, one of the most striking features of the makeover was the new courtyard paved with 11,000 handmade porcelain tiles from the Netherlands and an all-new subterranean exhibition space.

While the Victoria and Albert Museum in London holds the record for the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, with over 4.5 million objects as part of its permanent collection, the institution will be opening another V&A museum this September, the only one outside London, in Scotland.

V&A Dundee museum. Photo credit: Ross Fraser McLean

Photo credit: Ross Fraser McLean

The V&A Dundee located on the bank of the river Tay will be Scotland’s first museum dedicated to design. Japanese architect Kengo Kuma is the designer behind the museum. Although this is his first project in Britain, the famous architect is already designing the Olympic stadium for Tokyo 2020.

On September 15, when the V&A Dundee opens to the public, its first exhibition will be titled Ocean Liner: Speed & Style. The centre of the museum will feature a completely restored Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Oak Room that saw V&A Dundee, the city’s council and other museums in Glasgow collaborate on the project. The Scottish Design Galleries section of the museum will have artefacts ranging from a 15th-century book of illuminated manuscripts to bleeding-edge computer gaming technology. One of the highlights will be the diamond-winged Cartier tiara adorned with 2,500 diamonds and commissioned in 1935 by the Duchess of Roxburghe which will go on public display for the very first time.

V&A Dundee museum

Although the construction of the project is now in its final stages with the work on exterior complete, the project was plagued with a few problems. It was initially scheduled to be ready and open to the public in 2014. Construction eventually began only in 2015. A four-year delay also meant that it massively overshot its budget. The original cost was estimated at £45 million, but that figure has nearly doubled to a little more than £80 million by the time the museum opens later this year.

While the Victoria and Albert Museum will lend its name to this new museum in Dundee, it’s worth remembering that another very high profile museum, the Louvre, lent its name as part of a new multi-billion dollar deal to the glittering Louvre Abu Dhabi museum in the UAE. You can read all about it here.