IT’s the jewel in the crown of the Dundee Waterfront development.
The completion of the V&A museum is an eagerly anticipated event, as the building rises from the ground as part of the £1 billion transformation.
Last month, the project’s award-winning architect, Kengo Kuma, visited from Tokyo, to celebrate a year since work started on the £80m museum.
The V&A team has charted the work’s progress by taking weekly pictures since June last year.
They show the blank canvass of mud being turned into the busy building site that is there today, as the foundations and perimeter walls take shape and — most recently — the walls start to rise.
Building firm BAM Construction is due to finish the museum by the end of next year, and Dundee City Council has earmarked June 2018 for it to be open to the public.
Councillor Will Dawson, convener of the city development committee, said the finished building would be a “fantastic piece of architecture”.
“Obviously, our perspective at the council is that this building and project really is a one-off,” he said.
“One of the major challenges the construction firm has had is the way the building has been designed, with its layers and extra levels.
“It’s almost like an upturned pyramid, which is narrower at the bottom, and I think 10 years ago if it had been suggested by a designer, it probably wouldn’t have been considered, as the technology wasn’t there.
“The guys have come up with innovative building methods and it’s making for a fantastic piece of architecture.”
Despite fears the location of the site could be an issue, and despite some sodden conditions, as the pictures above show, Mr Dawson said that progress hadn’t really faltered.
He said: “It’s been a challenge for BAM being next to the water, with the possibility of flooding or drainage issues but the guys on site seem to have managed very well.
“Being next to the Tay Estuary was always going to be a challenge as there’s been the potential for a wind tunnel situation but there haven’t been any major issues with that.
“The winter we have had, which was fairly mild, has certainly helped. I go past the site all the time and see the progress.
“The other councillors and council officials who have been in always say it’s a flurry of activity too.
“It’s mainly steel and concrete just now but the interesting thing for me was to see the walls coming above the hoardings for the first time.
“That was when you really knew progress was being made, and it became more than just a building site.
“You really thought, ‘this is going to happen’.”
Once finished, Mr Dawson said the museum would be something for the whole city to be proud of.
“With the railway station next to it, and the work on it about to start, you’ve got two really fantastic, iconic buildings, rising from the ground next to each other,” he said. “It’s the first outpost for the V&A that anyone has done in Scotland and I think we should be very proud of that.
“Once the exhibits start to get moved in and the internal work is complete the whole project will really start to take shape.
“When it opens, it will be an incredibly proud moment for the city, and shows how Dundee is going from strength to strength as an established, cultural centre. It will no doubt be a great success for future generations and I am immensely proud to say I have been a part of it.”
As a major tourist attraction, the council has estimated 270,000 people will visit the museum annually.