Steven Holl Architects

V&A centre for design . Dundee

source: V&A at Dundee . Steven Holl Architects

At night the building casts a white shadow on the Tay. A floating image, it measures time by how the building body shimmers with the passing river's rushing water. Transformed by the river, it is a gossamer architecture in rivery air... Suspended in ripples of sparkling light.

From the shore promenade a wide bridge leads to the museum's open Portal overlooking the River Tay. The inviting Main Hall extends vertically to begin the visitor circuit linking all public activities through the building. The open loft-like galleries and "Design in action" studios with high ceilings and controlled natural light offer flexibility for exhibitions and design workshops.

The central glass-walled elevators and open stair circuit provide clear orientation and connectivity between the various exhibition and design activities, while allowing for gallery re-installation closings without interruption of public flow. Along the circuit the restaurant opens out to a sunset view terrace, the Design in Scotland galleries open to a North Sea facing terrace and at the top a Café/Wine Bar opens to a roof terrace overlooking Dundee and the River Tay. The public's free flow up though the building offers the visitor choice and unexpected discoveries of both applied arts and design, and the river cityscape's changing atmospheric light of this special site.

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