Image: Ross Fraser McLean V&A Dundee to open this September

V&A Dundee, Scotland’s first design museum, is set to open to the public this September. Standing at the heart of a £1bn

redevelopment of the Dundee waterfront, once part of the city’s docklands, the museum has been designed by Japanese architects Kengo Kuma & Associates. It will be the only V&A museum outside of London and will feature permanent galleries of Scottish design, new design commissions, temporary installations by emerging designers and creative projects developed through the museum’s learning programme.

The central permanent exhibition is the

Scottish Design Galleries, which tells the story of Scotland’s design heritage. This includes Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s fully restored Oak Room, which is a 13.5m-long panelled room and was originally designed for Miss Cranston’s Ingram Street tearooms in Glasgow in 1907, before being saved and placed in storage in hundreds of pieces almost 50 years ago. Another of the exhibits in the permanent collection is its oldest item, a 15th century book of illuminated manuscripts called the Book of

Hours. The galleries, which will display around 300 pieces ranging from architecture to fashion, healthcare to furniture, and engineering to video game design, will be free to enter. V&A Dundee has worked with its

counterpart in London and is being developed with support from the Scottish Government, Heritage Lottery Fund, Dundee City Council, the UK Government, Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, University of Dundee, Abertay University and many trusts and private donors.

Near Zero Energy project launched at Brunel University

A new multi-million-euro research project that will demonstrate how buildings can be renovated to use ‘near zero energy’ has launched at Brunel University London. The €8.4m project is being run by

ReCO2ST, an alliance featuring 17 partners from nine European countries and funded by Horizon 2020. It will bring together both

academia and industry to develop a ‘Retrofit Kit’ that can be used to reduce energy consumption by 60-95 per cent in renovated buildings. Four demonstration sites, including one at Brunel, will be created as part of the project, and will offer practical, real-world examples of Near Zero Energy Buildings (nZEBs).

Installing a Retrofit Kit involves bringing

together a number of advanced energy saving technologies – including smart windows with pre-heating and cooling technology, ventilation heat recovery, photovoltaic panels, and nature-based technologies – which can be fitted 30 per cent faster than typical renovations.

Office conversion into boutique hotel

Willmott Dixon Interiors is converting a five- storey office block in London into a 136-room high-end boutique hotel. The new St Martins Place Hotel, for

client Best Effort Ventures, will also feature a rooftop bar to complement its fifth floor restaurant after adding an additional floor. The conversion has been designed by EPR Architects

10 The building was originally constructed

in the 1950s to serve as a mixture of office and retail space and adjoins the Grade II Star listed St Martin’s Vicarage, Vestry and School. While the development will also feature new stores in the basement and on ground floor level, the building will retain the post office that currently exists there.

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