Should you visit the V&A Museum on Dundee’s Waterfront?

Is all the hype about the V&A Museum Dundee fact or fiction?

If you decide to travel to Dundee to see the V&A Museum from Washington , just south of Newcastle, you will need to drive 200 miles and the journey will take approximately 4 hours with a short comfort break. Is the journey worth it?

Hopefully I can answer that for you as I was commissioned to go to Dundee to take photographs of the newly opened Railway Station which stands just opposite the V&A Museum in Dundee. If you would like to jump to the images of the Railway Station you can view them on this page.

First time visit to Dundee and Dundee Waterfront

As this was my first ever visit to Dundee I was very excited at the prospect of visiting. I have had to visit many Scottish cities and towns with my work as a commercial photographer and almost all of them have proven to be a ‘photographer’s paradise’. Regardless of the weather!

Despite the almost 4 hour drive the journey passes quickly and without event. I set off from Washington at 5am and  arrived in Dundee around 9 am. As I entered  Dundee I found I was coasting by the River Tay on my right, it is a very beautiful and welcoming site. There is a very long and impressive bridge ( the Tay Railway Bridge ) I  believe that holds your gaze as you drive into Dundee, it is beautiful to see and I wished i’d had time to stop, admire the amazing view and take some photographs of it. Time was against me as I needed to shoot the Railway Station at a certain time for the light to be right.

Parking on a Bank Holiday Monday!

I hadn’t realised it was a Bank Holiday in Scotland so finding a closish parking space to the Railway Station was a bit of a challenge. Whilst driving around, looking for a space I caught my first sight of the V&A Museum. None of the photographs I’ve seen to date do it justice, from the outside it is a remarkable looking building.

I was so taken by the view I forgot I was looking for a parking space as the red traffic light turned to green and cars started honking their horn behind me, encouraging me to move on!

After 15 mins of circulating I managed to find a parking space and pulled my wheeled camera case to the station. The camera gear inside weighs about 30 kilos which is why i no longer carry it on my back. As mentioned in another blog, Dundee Railway Station is beautiful in my opinion and it managed to hold my attention until I was free to to visit the V&A.

V&A Museum Dundee entrance by James Thompson
V&A Museum Dundee front view by James Thompson

How much does it cost to get into the V&A Museum?

I was expecting it to be around £10-12. The queue was very long and never seems to shorten. There were also crowds of people outside taking selfies of themselves in front of it. As I got to the front of the queue, which took about 15 mins, I took out my wallet and I was told that entry to the museum was free! Happy days! I couldn’t believe it, such an impressive building and free to go in!

V&A Museum Dundee by James Thompson
V&A Museum Dundee by James Thompson

What’s it like inside the V&A Museum?

Unlike anything I have been in before! Needless to say it was very busy the day I visited, so taking in any atmosphere or sense of scale was quite difficult as I was constantly having to make sure my camera bag didn’t roll over someone’s feet. It’s very big inside and from wherever you look there are fascinating angles to discover, with leading lines everywhere. There is a café downstairs and various exhibitions upstairs, covering Scotland’s past, present and future.

Interior view from first floor of V&A Museum Dundee by James Thompson
Interior view from first floor of V&A Museum Dundee by James Thompson

I will need to revisit to give a clearer picture of what it’s like inside as it was so busy. The one obvious thing that really stuck out for me are that there are no ‘killer’ views from anywhere. The windows that are there are quite small, until you get to the very top. Thats not a criticism, just an initial observation and maybe I have missed something due to the sheer volume of visitors.

Who designed the Dundee V&A Museum?

Japanese architect Kengo Kuma won a competition that was held to decide who would design the V&A Museum in Dundee. The museum will be his first ever building in Britain and he is also designing the Olympic stadium for Tokyo 2020.

Architectural design of V&A Museum Dundee photograph by James Thompson
Architectural design of V&A Museum Dundee photograph by James Thompson

How much did the V&A Museum in Dundee cost to build?

The project’s budget was originally £45 million and rose  to more than £80 million which Kengo Kuma claimed was a lot more expensive than expected.

Kengo Kuma and Associates expressed their appreciation that Dundee City Council decided to allow the  project to proceed despite the great rise in price.

Scotland's flagship cultural project. Photograph by James Thompson
Scotland’s flagship cultural project. Photograph by James Thompson

So is the V&A Museum in Dundee worth a visit then?

Absolutely! It really is a beautiful building in beautiful surroundings. I will certainly be going back on a quieter day to give myself the opportunity to take a closer look at the interior. Even if you think you can’t make it to Dundee whilst its open during the day, believe me it looks even more beautiful outside at night. I was surprised at how few people there were outside on the Bank Holiday evening.

V&A Museum Dundee at night by James Thompson
V&A Museum Dundee at night by James Thompson

Did you notice anything else to do or see  in Dundee?

Although I was there all day, I was working against the clock to get all the photographs of the Railway Station I needed for my client J&D Pierce. They are the company who fabricated and erected the steelwork for the Railway Station. Looking for the best angles involved driving around for a while and I accidentally drove over what I think is called The Blackwatch Parade.

Current construction projects on Dundee Waterfront

Dundee Waterfront is buzzing with people and activity.Immediately opposite the new Dundee Railway Station there is a new building being constructed. I believe this is called Site 6 and will feature apartments, office blocks and Leisure outlets and Restaurants for everyone to enjoy. Here is a view of the current stage of construction as of the 25th September 2018. I took this image from the archway of the V&A Museum itself. You can also see Dundee Railway Station to the left.

Site 6 on Dundee Waterfront photograph by James Thompson
Site 6 on Dundee Waterfront photograph by James Thompson

If you would like more info on the forthcoming developments for Dundee Waterfront you can find official plans here. There is also an excellent website I found called aptly Discover Dundee Waterfront, you can find it here. It has a lot of really useful information about future projects on Dundee Waterfront.

If you’d like to learn more regarding the construction of the V&A museum in Dundee the BAM Constructions website holds a wealth of interesting information, their website can be found here.

If you’d like to be notified of our future visits to Dundee and other areas of Scotland and England, you can leave us your contact details here and we will keep you updated.  Please view our Privacy Policy to show how we manage your data.

Finally, if you are looking for a commercial, industrial of architectural photographer, give us a call or drop us a line. We are happy to visit you to discuss things with you also. email James@duophoto.co.uk or call James on 07817 512 234. You can view more of our work here.

Your image is in safe hands, we recently were awarded Industrial Photographer of the Year 2018 by the Master Photographers Association and an Award of Excellence for our Commercial Photography. Please keep coming back to our website are there are many more case studies and portfolios of our Commercial Work to be uploaded.

Industrial Photographer of the Year Award 2018 for James Thompson
Industrial Photographer of the Year Award 2018 for James Thompson

How to get to the V&A Museum Dundee

 

 

 

 

 

 

Construction photographer shoots stunning Dundee Waterfront

Dundee Railway Station at nigh tby James Thompson

Life of a Construction Photographer

Working as a construction photographer involves travelling all around the UK on a vast array of interesting projects. Having a valid CSCS card has proved to be an absolute must. Following on from a commission at the Boeing Golden Care Hangar at Gatwick Airport I was then asked to go to Dundee shoot Dundee Railway Station.

Beautiful Dundee Waterfront

I have never been to Dundee so I was really looking forward to the visit. “Googling Dundee” also made me aware of the stunning V&A museum which has just recently opened to the public, I was excited to get there and watched weather reports for the best day to visit. I knew the times of day I want to shoot at , so once the weather was good, I packed the car and set off.  Unknown to me that particular Monday was a Bank Holiday in Scotland!

Stunning Dundee Railway Station

J&D Pierce Contracts Ltd have commissioned me to take construction photographs of several of their projects. In this instance their is no construction site as such as the building is finished and the public are using it everyday. The commercial images I take are being used for websites, social media and printed publications. I noticed the Railway Station as soon as I arrived in Dundee Town Centre, it’s a stunning building. The Railway station is also a Sleeperz Hotel and whoever has designed this building has done a great job! It’s beautiful. Here is shot I captured of the station at mid morning.

Construction photograph of Dundee Railway Station by James Thompson
Construction photograph of Dundee Railway Station by James Thompson

The crispness of the design and the clean lines are simply breathtaking! I moved to the right to get a three quarter angle view and to bring the beautiful glass sides into sight. Whichever way you look at this building it is beautiful!

Three quarter view below:

Three quarter view of Dundee Railway Station by James Thompson
Three quarter view of Dundee Railway Station by James Thompson

Stunning Archway Entrance to Dundee Railway Station

I don’t really think this entrance needs much introduction! What a beautiful design and construction, a stunning feature that blends in so perfectly with the overall shape of the building and also the magnificent V&A Museum opposite, Dundee has such a lot to be proud of!!

Construction photograph of Entrance to Dundee Railway Station by James Thompson
Construction photograph of Entrance to Dundee Railway Station by James Thompson

The interior is just as beautiful!

Interior view of Dundee Railway Station by James Thompson
Interior view of Dundee Railway Station by James Thompson

Construction photography is a waiting game…

Taking images for commercial purposes is all about waiting for the right moment. Whilst waiting for the appropriate time of day to shoot I visited the V&A Museum. The queue to get in was massive! I waited and managed to get some lovely shots. I will show the images of the V&A in a separate blog. Meanwhile the time passed quickly I was ready to capture the evening images of this beautiful railway station on Dundee Waterfront.

Evening photographs of Dundee Railway Station

I think it’s fascinating to compare the ‘look’ of the building. Does it look better, or different depending on the time of day? Maybe you can tell me and leave your opinions, I’ll be delighted to hear them. Here is an evening shot of the facade.

Dundee Railway Station Entrance by Commercial Photographer James Thompson
Dundee Railway Station Facade by Commercial Photographer James Thompson

That entrance is really striking and inviting! Next is a wider shot taking in the whole building.

Dundee Railway Station at night by James Thompson
Dundee Railway Station at night by James Thompson

Continuing the comparison we now move on to the three quarter view showing those magnificent glass sides. They really look beautiful at night.

Three quarter view of Dundee Railway Station at night by James Thompson
Three quarter view of Dundee Railway Station at night by James Thompson

Dundee Railway Station also has a pretty rear!

It would be easy to imaging that all of the beauty was directed at the front of the building and that the rear would be ignored or hidden away. However, as can be seen from the photograph below, this is clearly not the case.

Rear entrance of Dundee Railway Station by Construction Photographer James Thompson
Rear entrance of Dundee Railway Station by Construction Photographer James Thompson

It is clear significant thought, care and effort has gone into the design and construction of this fabulous building. I hope my portfolio of’ completed construction images’ do it justice. Dundee must feel rightly proud of this beautiful landmark on the up and coming Dundee Waterfront. I never know where my next commission will take me, on this occasion it has been a wonderful surprise. I can’t wait to show you the photographs of the V&A!

Links for more info  on this wonderful building and Dundee Waterfront

Architects Nicoll Russell

Constructors: Balfour Beatty

Steel Fabrication and Erection

Dundee City Council

 

More info here too: Scottish Construction Now

Construction Photography Awards

Finally I’d just like to add I was awarded Industrial Photographer of the Year 2018 via The Master Photographers Association, I am very proud to have received this award. I also gained an Award of excellence for my Commercial Photography. I travel UK wide and have full Professional Indemnity, Public Liability Insurance, I’m DBS Certified and I’,m  a  Construction Photographer with a CSCS Card. If you’d like to get in touch call me on 07817 512 234 or email info@ukconstructionphotography.co.uk

 

Commercial photographer in Glasgow shoots new Motorcycle Village!

Commercial photograph of West Coast Harley Davidson Hillington Park Glasgow
Biker’s retail “Holy Trinity” in Hillington Park!

I shoot many projects  as a Commercial Photographer  in Glasgow. I am fortunate in that I get to travel to all corners of the UK as a freelance Construction Photographer, Architectural Photographer and Civil Engineering Photographer. . Being a biker myself, this particular commission really appealed to me.

Construction photographer in Glasgow

I am working on a number of Construction Photography projects with Steel Fabricator and Erector, J&D Pierce Contracts Ltd, situated in Glengarnock, west of Glasgow.

Triumph Dealer Hillington Park, by commercial photographer in Glasgow James Thompson
Triumph Dealer Hillington Park, Glasgow by James Thompson

For each commercial photography commission that I undertake I like to do some research on how the project developed and get to know a little of the history of those Contractors/ Agencies involved.

Quoting from the Herald of Scotland:

“Three motor industry brands are moving to Hillington Park, one of Scotland’s largest business estates, as part of a £10 million development.

Rogers, Rees & Robins Motor Group, trading as Ducati Glasgow, will move from Great Western Road and will include the Triumph brand in a purpose-built showroom.

Triumph Dealer Hillington Park, by commercial photographer in Glasgow James Thompson
Triumph dealer at Hillington Park, Glasgow. Photography by James Thompson

West Coast Harley-Davidson will move from Glasgow’s Charing Cross into a second unit which will become one of the largest Harley-Davidson dealerships in Europe.

Pacific Building, also based at Hillington Park, has secured the £4m contract to build and fit-out the 18,000 sq ft premises which should be ready for occupation early next year.

It is anticipated that 20,000 customers will visit the new ‘motorcycle village’ in its first full year of operation.

Both dealerships have experienced significant growth over the last five years and have simultaneously found their city centre stores to be restrictive to their growth plans. The new dealerships will create 50 jobs.

Ducati Dealer Hillington Park, by commercial photographer in Glasgow James Thompson
Ducati dealer at Hillington Park, Glasgow. Photography by James Thompson

Martin Rees, managing director of Rogers, Rees & Robins, said: “We identified the need to move to bigger premises in 2012 and have been planning this incredibly exciting prospect since then.

“We have the added advantage of positioning ourselves next to our colleagues at West Coast Harley-Davidson which will help us create a fantastic attraction for bikers and non bikers alike.”

Don Rutherford, managing director of West Coast Harley-Davidson ,said: “We’ve been looking to expand our operation for some time now so to tie-in this exciting development alongside Ducati and Triumph is a fantastic opportunity that will provide Scotland with a real class leading hub for bikers.”

Harley Davidson Dealer Hillington Park, by commercial photographer in Glasgow James Thompson
West Coast Harley Davidson dealer by James Thompson

Jamie Cumming, commercial director at Patrizia-owned Hillington Park, said the moves were “incredibly exciting”.

Brian Gallacher, managing director at Pacific Building said: “This is a particularly satisfying project to have secured because it is an all-Hillington Park affair. It will be rewarding to see such a highly visible and sought-after piece of land alongside the M8 transformed into what will be one of the biggest motorbike multi-franchises in the UK.”

Construction Photography Website

We have a new dedicated Construction photography website in the making following our recent award of Industrial Photographer of the Year 2018. We are extremely proud to win this award and also to receive an ‘Award of Excellence for our Commercial Photography. 

You can see more examples of our Commercial Photography here.

Looking for a Commercial photographer in Glasgow, or elsewhere in the UK?

If we can help with your Commercial Photography needs  call now on 07817 512 234 or email james@duophoto.co.uk.

Where is Hillington Park Motorcycle Village?