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Dundee House for Dundee City Council, Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom

Wednesday 29 Jun 2011

Bringing the council and citizens together

Text: Reiach and Hall, Images: Dave Morris 
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Award Entry

Reiach and Hall Architects complete new Dundee City Council Administrative Headquarters 

This is not an ordinary office building. It is Dundee City Councils headquarters and will be the primary location where the citizens of Dundee will meet their council officers. As well as containing the councils spatial needs therefore the building has an important civic role to play. It re-uses and re-invigorates a protected derelict industrial building which is located in a slightly forgotten part of the city. The new building has begun the process of the revitalisation of this area.

The function of the building is to contain and enable the provision of the councils office based services. The building will contain approximately 900 staff and has a floor area of approximately 12,500m2. A component of the brief is to stimulate departmental interactions, so all communal facilities are co-located outside the departments.

The functional requirements, when considered with the civic nature of the proposals informed the external expression. The historic building is retained. The new offices are placed to the west, rising above their neighbours, signalling the Council to the city, a linear core is placed between the old and new, working with the existing linear site emphasis. The existing building is re-roofed with a contemporary attic to contain the co-located communal spaces.

The building is articulated to the west by three towers and to the northeast by the arcaded existing stone façade with a dramatic glazed new building behind. The Council is literally seen to be accountable and locatable.

The external expression of the new spaces is of a heavily modelled façade of facing brick, pre cast concrete, aluminium and glass that gives the building dignity, gravitas and presence. These materials were chosen to last for generations. The building adopts highly sustainable principles with natural ventilation and exposed thermal mass and was BREEAM assessed as excellent.

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Reiach and Hall Architects

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