Dundee Design students see their work become a reality at Water’s Edge

Two design students at the University of Dundee now have their work permanently on display at the recently launched Grade A commercial office development Water’s Edge, thanks to winning a competition run by the building’s owners Tayforth Properties Ltd.

The competition, which was open to all interior and environmental design students at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design at the University of Dundee, asked students to design a bespoke feature for the internal street at Water’s Edge, a collaborative and dynamic communal space, running through the heart of the commercial office development.

All entries were judged by Tayforth Properties Ltd co-owners, Scottish tech entrepreneurs Chris van der Kuyl and Paddy Burns, and Managing Director of Tayforth Properties Ltd, Stewart Clark; alongside the architects of Water’s Edge, Ric Russell and Ryan Cathro of Nicoll Russell Studios. The quality of entries was so high, two sculptures were chosen instead of one.

The two sculptures were installed in time for the building’s launch on 26 June. It was officially opened by Derek Mackay, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work.

The first winning sculpture, Rain Spiral, designed by student Tereza Chronakova, is made of stainless steel and consists of eight different sized metal trays standing on individual supports, each carrying water to another; essentially creating a waterfall inside of the building. On the inspiration behind the design of the sculpture, Tereza commented: “It establishes a space where people can stop, take a breath, listen to the calming sound of water and be inspired. The use of metal and water within the sculpture also honours the history of the building as one of the original transit sheds at Dundee docks, known as Shed 25.”

The second sculpture, 25 Angles, designed by student Aleksandra Daszynska, was inspired by the original features of the building itself and the changes made by the architects. The design of the sculpture comes directly from the technical drawings of the building and features stainless steel, brass rods and mirrors. Aleksandra commented: “The people and surroundings reflected in the mirrors inevitably will become part of the interactive artwork. Creating a connection between the indoors and outdoors, some of the surfaces are painted with abstract views of Water’s Edge and its surroundings.”

Stewart Clark, Managing Director of Tayforth Properties Ltd, commented: “The quality of entries for the competition was incredibly high and as a team we were so impressed with the ideas the students presented. However, the designs by Aleksandra and Tereza really do pay homage to the building and history behind Water’s Edge, which we have always been keen to honour. We were able to unveil both sculptures on launch day and believe they add something very special to the building, particularly the sound of trickling water you hear as you walk through the building.”

Ric Russell of architects and interior designers Nicoll Russell Studios said: “It was wonderful to collaborate with the students during the development of their designs. The development of their artworks further underlines the quality of the building and its internal spaces with their animated nature. Water’s Edge is a great place to work.”

Aleksandra added: “Winning the competition was very exciting. Not many students have their work permanently on display. Working on the project with the architects from Nicoll Russell Studios was a brilliant experience. It is fantastic to see your initial sketches and models come to life in full scale. Working on this project reassured me that spatial design is the career route I want to take.”

Tereza added: “I feel honoured to have been given the chance to work with Nicoll Russell Studios on progressing my sculpture. I learnt so much during the process. I am very grateful for the opportunity; it is incredibly special for any student to have their design work turned into a reality.”

Water’s Edge is the redevelopment of one of Dundee’s original transit sheds, known as “Shed 25”. situated between Camperdown Dock and Victoria Dock at Dundee’s City Quay. Businesses who are interested in finding out more about Water’s Edge should visit www.watersedgedundee.co.uk