V&A Dundee construction materials to be celebrated on fifth anniversary

V&A Dundee’s latest display will pay tribute to the construction of the building as it marks its fifth birthday this weekend.

‘Stories from the Building’ will be a permanent display showcasing various aspects of the build, from architecture to engineering. The £80.1 million structure was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and delivered by main contractor BAM.

Samples of materials used during the build such as PERI’s GT24 Girder will be exhibited alongside pre-recorded interviews with suppliers and contractors involved in the project.

One of these interviews features PERI’s then sales manager, Martin Richardson, who shares insights about the company’s involvement in bringing the building to life. In addition to being PERI’s first-ever product, the GT24 Girder was one of the most widely used temporary works products throughout the build of V&A Dundee, as it formed a crucial part of the formwork shutters which helped shape its concrete structure.

Over 1, 200 bespoke shutters were fabricated by the temporary works specialist at its warehouse in Rugby. No two walls were the same, which meant each formwork shutter had its own unique shape and specification.

“It wasn’t just the complexity of the individual formwork elements that was demanding; the shape of the building also required a lot of thought,” Martin said. “Due to the top of the building projecting over the bottom in many areas, we couldn’t remove a lot of the lower formwork elements until the top sections of the walls were poured, and in some instances, until the main roof beams had been installed.

“At the height of construction, we were fabricating 1,000 square metres of bespoke shutters a month. It’s an extraordinary building and I’m excited to revisit the site after such a long time.”

The celebratory event to mark five years of V&A Dundee will take place on Saturday 16 September. On the day, visitors can expect free entry to the museum’s Tartan exhibition, live music performances, food stalls and more.