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  • Matthew Locke

Shipshape waterfront regeneration for Dundee


Dundee City Council is approaching the completion of a 20 year project to redevelop the important quayside and gateway to the city by the Tay Bridge.

Behind this journey was a desire to rebuild the mish-mash of 60's and 70's brutalist buildings, roads and ramps that paid little head to the needs of pedestrians.

Mike Galloway, the city's planning director, who has experience of working in Glasgow and cities in England, stressed that the project for the city's' front door' was essential to influence outsiders' perception of Dundee. The objective was to produce a mixed use urban quarter.

Kevin Murray Associates, planning consultancy, advised the council in the 90's not to leap into a master plan but to look at all the possible future scenarios. The council publicly consulted on 20 different scenarios and then reduced this to an ideas shortlist which achieved a 90% approval rating from the public.

The city council and Scottish Enterprise ran the project as an informal joint venture with finance from the City's Growth Fund which finally totalled 85 million pounds with matched funding from Scottish Enterprise.

Quite by chance the director of London's V&A Museum, Mark Jones, was visiting Dundee University's art college when the project was looking for an anchor building. Having been shown the site, he flew back to London with the first seeds of a V&A outreach museum for Scotland in his mind.

The University then became the main driver with the V&A for the redevelopment, the commissioning of the architects and the construction teams. The result of this carefully planned project will be a ship-shaped museum (pictured above) by Kengo Kuma.

It will be an international centre of design for Scotland and a 'new living room' for the city, where the local community will share their images, thoughts and ideas about design. It will be served by a bold new mixed use station development made up of hotel and retail.

A recent economic impact study highlighted the many ways the museum will help the city, leading to the creation of many tourism-related jobs and broader job creation in Scotland by driving design led business innovation.

#VADundee #designinnovation #waterfrontregeneration

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