AFTER three years of waiting to see inside the centrepiece building that has transformed the Dundee waterfront, I expected a ‘wow’ factor when I first walked through the doors. I wasn’t disappointed, writes Greg Russell.

Kengo Kuma’s use of wood to represent his inspiration from the cliffs of the north-east and glass to light up the interior, reconnecting the city and its river, made me stop and gawp just inside the main entrance of V&A Dundee.

READ MORE: Dundee hailed as 'new world centre of design' as V&A opens doors​

The light stays with you from the ground floor up to the restaurant level, home to a touring exhibition space and the Scottish Design Galleries.

My experience of museums is usually limited to holiday visits and I still have fond memories of the Metropolitan and Guggenheim in New York.

V&A Dundee is not on the same scale, but it manages to pack a lot into Kuma’s masterpiece.

The first thing that struck me was the full-sized clay model of Jaguar’s I-PACE electric SUV, designed by Ian Callum, a Scot, which nestles between the two main exhibition areas.

READ MORE: Dundee deserves the Guggenheim effect with the opening of the V&A

Some of the men’s apparel in the adjacent Scottish Design Galleries – especially the Westwood Harris Tweed suit – brought to mind my own wardrobe, or at least the need to update it.

The reconstruction of the Oak Room from Miss Cranston’s Tea Rooms drew me like the aroma of good coffee. Yes, it was fascinating to see the restoration and rebuilding of this jigsaw puzzle, but – it could have been the light – as I told a colleague later, I felt it was a tad claustrophobic.

Not so the Ocean Liners exhibition. Aside from the engineering aspects, along with the pictures and paintings, my ambling through the blue-skied mid-Atlantic panorama, with accompanying music from the gramophone, almost lulled me into holiday mode and had me wondering where my gin and tonic was lurking. It is well worth a visit.