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The new V&A Dundee

The magnificent venue designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma for V&A Dundee, which opened in September. This new building, which has been compared to two decks of playing cards rotated and united, represented a technological challenge for the use of reinforced concrete. The exterior concrete walls, up to 18 meters high, slope outwards in a variety of improbable angles; about 2,400 precast concrete elements, with a maximum weight of three tons each, rest onto them. Designed by famous Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and set on the banks of river Tay, this extraordinary building looks like a ship about to sail into the Firth of Tay, but from different perspectives, it brings to mind alternative imagery: sails, a shell, or the typical Scottish rock formations, which were the original source of inspiration for Kuma’s design. Arup's original structural proposal included 600 mm thick walls with huge pieces of steel embedded inside. Based on the checks made using 3D models, the design team managed to decrease the thickness of the walls by half, significantly reducing the steel support structure required. V&A Dundee hosts a permanent Scottish design exhibition and a international programme of changing exhibitions. At the centre of these galleries stands the magnificent Charles Rennie Mackintosh Oak Room which has been meticulously restored, conserved and reconstructed. The Scottish Design Galleries exhibit 300 items from the V&A collections as well as from private collections. To illuminate these areas, Arup developed a solution that combines more than 600 Palco projectors with iN30 luminaires and Underscore linear lighting. All of the luminaires are DALI-controlled and in the galleries have potentiometers to allow dual dimming. Thus, the type of equipment and the straightforward management allow for different levels of integration between general lighting and accent lighting, according to the different exposure requirements. iGuzzini’s contribution to the project also included the manufacturing of a series of double-dimming Palco projectors. In fact, the client’s brief requested a device that was both directly dimmable during the commissioning phase, as well as subsequently manageable remotely, preferably via mobile devices.

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  • Year
  • Client
    Dundee City Council
  • Architectural project:
    Kengo Kuma & Associates
  • Lighting project:
    Arup (Daylighting, architectural and permanent exhibition lighting)
    Studio ZNA (Ocean Liners touring exhibit)
  • Structural engineering:
  • Photographer
    © Hufton + Crow

Project Quote

"The versatility and robustness of Palco projector series allowed us to achieve a consistent aesthetic language for the galleries and foyer spaces, while achieving the range of optics needed. The quality of the beams create the right atmosphere and accent to the exhibits and objects in the Scottish Design Galleries. The successful collaboration with iGuzzini’s technical team and the support provided, resulted in a technically sound and architecturally integrated lighting scheme. "

Predrag Stojićević - Senior Lighting Designer, Arup

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