Dundee’s Verdant Works wins international award for architecture


18th December 2017

Verdant Works in Dundee has scooped an international award for architecture after a stunning transformation that took it from a dilapidated building to a leading museum, visitor attraction and venue.

The Open Gallery at High Mill, part of the restored Verdant Works, was recognised in the conservation category of the 2018 Civic Trust Awards for its outstanding architecture, planning and design.

Verdant Works, a former jute mill, joins winners across the world including Sydney, Rio de Janeiro and London. Its owners Dundee Heritage Trust said the award “puts Dundee firmly on the international map in terms of design and culture”.

The Civic Trust Award went to James F. Stephen Architects who helped develop the building from the point of collapse to its reopening to the public in 2015. Owned by Dundee Heritage Trust, Verdant Works is an important social history museum, visitor attraction and venue in Dundee.

Dundee Heritage Trust opened Verdant Works – with the public’s help – in September 1996 and completed the second phase a year later. Late 2015 saw the opening of High Mill, the oldest part of the building and a stunning space which recently hosted the Great Tapestry of Scotland. Many of the items in the museum are donated by residents of Dundee, who consider it the home of the jute industry in Scotland.

Dundee Heritage Trust also runs the historic RRS Discovery ship and visitor attraction which sits next to the new V & A Museum of Design, due to open at Dundee’s waterfront in 2018.

Paul Jennings, Executive Director of Dundee Heritage Trust, said:

“We are delighted to see the High Mill Project at Verdant Works getting this international recognition from the Civic Trust. It was an ambitious and innovative scheme that transformed a derelict and dangerous building into stunning new galleries and learning spaces and gave us the facilities to host lots of new activities and events. Dundee is now firmly on the international map as a cultural and design centre, and we’re proud to be part of that.

“Dundee Heritage Trust is a small charity and couldn’t have achieved this amazing result without the support of our staff, volunteers, the professional team and contractors and all of our funders.”

Welcoming the award, Doug Reid, partner with James F. Stephen Architects, said:

“We worked with the Trust for more than ten years to try to find a sustainable and viable new use for the High Mill, having sadly watched it deteriorate almost to the point of self-collapse. So it is exceptionally satisfying to see how this unique and innovative space within one of Dundee’s Category A Listed Buildings is being successfully used not only for museum purposes but also for a wide and diverse range of artistic and cultural events. The end result is an exemplar conservation project achieved through the enthusiastic and successful collaboration of the entire project team which will hopefully be enjoyed by both the local community and visitors to Dundee for many years to come.”

An awards ceremony will be held on Friday 9th March 2018 at Old Trafford, Manchester.

For more information visit www.verdantworks.com

For information on the Civic Trust awards click here: https://www.civictrustawards.org.uk/news/2018-winners-civic-trust-awards-pro-tem-awards-aabc-conservation-awards

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