In February 2009 I attended the V&A at Dundee: Making it Happen conference.
About two years before that we'd been party to Jack McConnell's announcement that it was in the pipe line - we'd spent the Friday before gutting the busy workshop of all signs of work in order to make a good impression of a working studio (ha-bloody-ha) and on the following Monday stood in line at 8.30 in the morning to shake first ministers hand. I'll leave it at that but there was a bit of stushy kicked up about it at the time.
Anyway, fast forward to 2009 and the conference kicked off and we had lectures on the way it would change the city. The lecture was interesting and informative and I genuinely enjoyed sitting and listening about the possibilities the V&A could bring to the city economically, socially and artistically. Including the unveiling of the Riverside redesign from the spaghetti junction you see on the left to the slicker and more amiable waterfront on the right.
Anyone who's driven around the waterfront on a regular basis or has seen someone go up the off ramp for the Tay Bridge will understand why this new design is ten million times better that the current design. The reconnection of the city to the river is also of great value, it is one of the city's greatest assets and there are limited ways to reach it from the city directly. If you must walk it, head to Duncan of Jordanstone and go down Roseangle towards the Railway Bridge, you're less likely to get hit by a car that way.
Now fast forward to today, when they finally revealed the six competing designs for the V&A:
Design by Snøhetta with Gareth Hoskins Architects, a team with architects from Canada, Scotland and elsewhere in the UK.
Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.
Designed by design firm Rex.
Personally I like the first design by Snøhetta, as it blends in with the landscape as opposed to dominating it, however I might also be being swayed by the fact that it's ever so slightly glittery looking. Frankly they're all interesting designs and I'm really intrigued in seeing which will be chosen. It will be a dominating building whichever they decide on, so here's hoping they choose wisely.
If you'd like to see the models, plans etc there is an exhibition of the proposed designs at Abertay University from the 29th of September until the 4th of November.
Listening: Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay - Take 1