Wednesday, 23 March 2011
V&A at Dundee price shock
It was billed as a new museum to revive the fortunes of an ailing Scottish city — just as a branch of the Guggenheim in Spain has transformed Bilbao — but months after the winning design for the V&A at Dundee was announced, serious doubts have emerged over the final cost of the building.
Experts who have studied drawings produced by Kengo Kuma, the Japanese winner of an international competition, are adamant that the museum could easily double or treble in price, not least because the planned structure is almost twice as big as any building intended for the site. One described the “massive and inevitable hike in cost” as indefensible.
Critics allege that the winning blueprints barely conceal the hidden costs. Two floors shown in cross-section are shaded out, and not included in the cost-per-square-metre price calculation. Nor is a plant room depicted, normally between 15 and 20 per cent of the budget in a building of this type.
The museum’s most striking features are likely to come at a heavy price, say experts, including the dramatic, spaceship-like sloping walls that also increase the volume inside the building. On the exterior, the surface area is huge and Kuma’s striking finish is created from a complex design that will be difficult to construct.
The saving grace for the V&A can be found in a remarkable quirk of the funding package. The world-famous institution is not obliged to meet any of the building costs. Instead, its outpost in Dundee, planned to house 20th century design products, will be funded by £15 million of Scottish government money, supplemented to the tune of £30 million by lottery funds, European grants and commercial sponsorship.
Read more at Timesonline. Image by James Glossop