First look inside V&A Dundee Museum of Design

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Image caption A first look inside the V&A Dundee

The first images of the interior of Dundee's V&A Museum of Design have been released ahead of its opening at the weekend.

The images show the main entrance hall and staircase of the £80m building and the Scottish Design Galleries permanent collection.

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The museum was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma who said he wanted to create a "living room for the city".

It is expected to attract 500,000 visitors in its first year.

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The design galleries include 300 objects, including Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Oak Room, the conserved and painstakingly reconstructed interior of Miss Cranston's Ingram Street tearoom which has been not been seen for 50 years.

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Image caption Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Oak Room has been meticulously restored

Mr Kuma said: "It is fitting that the restored Oak Room by Charles Rennie Mackintosh is at the heart of this building as I have greatly admired his designs since I was a student.

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Image caption The Oak Room was created by Scottish designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh for a tearooms in Glasgow in 1907
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Image caption A detail from Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Oak Room, which has been in storage for almost 50 years

"In the Oak Room, people will feel his sensibility and respect for nature, and hopefully connect it with our design for V&A Dundee.

"I hope the museum can change the city and become its centre of gravity.

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Image caption The Scottish design galleries house a permanent collection of items

"I am delighted and proud that this is my first building in the UK and that people will visit it from around the world."

Dundee City Council leader John Alexander told guests invited to the first viewing of the museum that he felt a "tremendous sense of pride" in the building.

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He said: "There's a fire in the belly of Dundonians that wasn't there 10 years ago.

Dundee is leading the charge in cultural-led regeneration.

"They see the institution as theirs, as they should."

Image caption Pupils from a Dundee school were among the first in the building

P7 pupils from Our Lady's RC were the first school pupils to see inside the museum.

Head teacher Alison Curran said: "They were so excited. They were lost for words and loved every exhibition."

Graeme Ogston - BBC Tayside and Central reporter

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Image caption The main hall's imposing staircase

Climbing the main hall's imposing staircase to survey Kengo Kuma's vision from the first floor reveals the real majesty of V&A Dundee.

Image caption Japanese architect Kengo Kuma at the viewing of his new museum

Catching glimpses of the river through the small windows, the hall and stairs glint with fossilised coral set into the limestone flooring.

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Image caption The interior is all about light, unlike the pre-cast stone exterior
Image copyright Hufton Crow

From the get-go, the museum's interior is all about the light.

Kuma rethought his original plan to mirror the building's dramatic exterior concrete panels inside.

It was a sound decision. Huge sweeping waves of wood panelling rise and swell from ground to first floor.

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Warming natural light floods through the windows dotted in-between the beams and, most impressively, through a large ground-floor level window that reflects the shimmer of the Tay against the central steel lift.

The drama and coolness of outside gives way to a warm wood glow inside the museum.

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The Scottish Design Galleries feel classic, but contemporary, the first gallery's floor-to-ceiling Inspiration Wall an early highlight.

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Image caption A clay model of Jaguar's I-PACE electric car, showing the design process. Jaguar's Director of Design, Ian Callum, is Scottish.

A full-sized clay model Jaguar car sits between the entrances to the permanent collection and the opening touring show Ocean Liners: Speed and Style.

After months of keeping its secrets held close, V&A Dundee has now opened its arms to the world.

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Image caption V&A Dundee is the centrepiece of the city's waterfront development
Image copyright Hufton Crow

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