A range of experts have put a damper on the first anniversary of Dundee’s £80m museum by airing a range of criticisms about the iconic building.

Architects have dismissed V&A Dundee as a “cafeteria”, expressed concerns about its “hanging concrete elements” and claimed the money had bought a lot of “fresh air”.

However, a spokesman for the museum defended the facility, arguing that it had been “designed to be a living room for the city and to promote debate about design”.

The cost of the project had been estimated at £45m, but overruns led to a final bill of nearly twice that amount.

An imposing building based by the city waterfront, and designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, it opened in September last year after delays. More than 340,000 people visited the museum in its first three months.

Although the museum has been praised, it was reported yesterday that some architects have been underwhelmed.

Nicola Walls, director of arts and culture at Page Park architects, said of the site:

“Partly the disappointment of the building lies in how the space has been allocated. Even just silly things like when you walk in, the café and coffee shop on the ground floor is more affordable and the more expensive restaurant is upstairs. We talk a lot about these buildings being democratic, but is there a subconscious separation going on?”

Lorn Macneal, a conservation architect, questioned some of V&A Dundee’s features:

“Externally it is a striking piece of architecture but I have my reservations about the hanging concrete elements, which for some elderly people may be alarming.

“The inside of the V&A Dundee disappointed me. In many museums you enter, such as the Kelvingrove, you immediately see the exhibits, which create a sense of invitation to see and learn more. It has failed in my mind in its principle areas. It is a tourism hub, a cafeteria and a shop.”

He also said: “I think there is the assumption that Scottish architects are parochial and do not have the global presence to attract attention,”

And Richard Murphy, who designed the Dundee Contemporary Arts gallery in 1999, said: “It is a very distinctive building. In that sense it has ticked a very big box. The problem is that if you talk to architects they say it should be more than a symbol. The actual museum is quite boring."

It was also reported by The Times yesterday that the museum had received poor reviews on Tripadvisor, and is ranked 62nd out of 98 things to do in the city.