Very much a week of ‘ups and downs’ and with a Scottish bent!
On Monday a van managed to demolish a 16th-century stone gate at Scone Palace in Perthshire (it will be rebuilt I gather).
But there was more constructive news from the V&A Museum who unveiled six impressive potential designs for a new cultural outpost on Dundee’s waterfront, aiming to be opened in 2014.
Dundee might not be the first place you’d think to open a new cultural institution. Paris, yes, Venice, definitely, but not Dundee, home of marmalade, Dennis the Menace, and little else.
But when one of the world’s most prestigious museums, London’s V&A, invites designs for its first outpost outside the capital, the worlds architects started to show interest. Architects from around the world have been shortlisted for the opportunity to revitalise the city’s drab waterfront by producing designs for a sleek modern building, marking something of an image change for the city!
Local authorities hope that the museum will bring the “Bilbao effect” to Dundee – which refers to the revitalising effect of architecture on a city’s financial prospects, as exemplified by the draw of Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim museum in the Spanish city after it opened in 1997.
The shortlisted designs include a building sunk into the river bed by US architect Stephen Holl and a rock-shaped building which balances precipitously by Vienna-based firm Delugan Meissl.
Interestingly the least exciting offering is from the only Scottish practice to be shortlisted – the US appear to offer the most imaginative designs.
Are we losing our ability to produce fantastic ‘leading edge’ buildings in this country? If our own Nottingham Contemporary Art Centre is anything to go by perhaps we are!