The latest obstacle in a tumultuous project history, figures released by Dundee City Council predict that Kengo Kuma and Associates' V&A museum in Dundee will cost an extra £31 million. Since unanimous selection by a competition jury in 2010, the project has been plagued by budget concerns, prompting a relocation from the original waterfront on the River Tay to a site further inland in 2012. Described by the V&A as "much more than just a building," Kuma's V&A Dundee is now slated to welcome the public in 2018, three years later than originally planned. Learn more about the delays after the break.
Initially budgeted at £45 million— a figure later amended to £49 million— the development of the V&A Dundee has not been smooth. Increasing construction costs and an elongating project timeline have seen a redesign of the building facade, and attracted criticism from the industry and mainstream media alike. A report from Dundee's head of city development, Mike Galloway, warns that "[i]f a March 2015 start is not achieved, then the construction will be delayed by at least a further six months with consequent impacts on the museum's opening date and on inflation of the construction costs." It is understood that the "highly complex nature" of the structure, alongside the cost of cladding and labour, are key contributing factors.
Kuma's proposal has been described as "bold and ambitious, but buildable and practical," yet news of the delays was met with little surprise. "From the start it was clear that the design...could not be built for the budget allocated," said Alan Dunlop of Alan Dunlop Architects, a sentiment echoed by Charlie Sutherland of V&A Dundee shortlisted firm Sutherland Hussey in his deeming of the project "a fiasco".
Yet Dundee City Council remains optimistic about the V&A Dundee's future, with council leader Ken Guild "making damn sure it does happen,"and citing the project's predicted generation of £11.6 million annual revenue for the city. "The mood we find in Dundee is not a concern about an increased price," he said. "This is a capital cost, not a revenue cost, which can be spread over a longer period, so it has no direct effect."