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SUNDAY 23 NOVEMBER 2014

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Granite Web, Aberdeen, United Kingdom 
Wednesday 18 Jan 2012
 
Solid win for Diller Scofidio + Renfro/Keppie 
 
Diller Scofidio + Renfro 
 
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19/02/12 justin, aberdeen
This is an excellent vision that will help restore a now unused and forgoten about space. It will hopefully bring people back into the city center and help rejuvinate the depressing union street.
02/02/12 Scott, Aberdeen
I am so happy that they are doing something with this 'eyesore', Aberdeen needs a central focus, and this is exactly what were going to get.
25/01/12 sijly, Elgin
Argh. This will be enormously expensive, and age quickly. A traditional park can still have a great variety of spaces, while being much less infrastructure heavy. (Look at Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, it's relatively simple and straightforward, but the variety of spaces keeps it active all day) Oh, and that sloping green roof will need ENORMOUS amounts of maintenance constantly.
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24/01/12 david wilson, south new berlin
depressing!
 

Editorial

'Granite Web' competition entry wins fierce battle for Aberdeen public space 


The architects behind New York’s treasured High Line have secured their next public space project, this time in Aberdeen, Scotland. Nicknamed the ‘Granite Web’, Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) and Keppie's victorious concept reinterprets the existing topography of the Denburn Valley and cascading greenery of the Union Terrace Gardens in the heart of the Scottish city. Supporting the new green public space will be a cultural and arts centre, drawing locals and tourists into the leafy parkland. 

Competition was high for this catalyst project, with the contest extended as DS+R/Keppie went head to head with international firm Foster + Partners in the final stages. Charles Renfro, Partner at DS+R, admitted that pitching against such an impressive practice pushed his firm to design bigger and better: “The steep competition drove us that much harder to do more research, to understand the site more thoroughly, to dig deeper into our creative reserve and our technical expertise to find a daring, thoughtful and beautiful solution.”

It was this considered understanding of the site context that hit a real note with the judges, as they applauded the elements of connectivity, excitement and spatial diversity displayed in DS+R/Keppie’s winning scheme. The concept promotes Aberdeen’s historic streets, revealing the arches, vaults and bridge on Union Street and retaining the balustrades and statues which are part of the city’s legacy. Colourful renderings show a sunken performance space in the heart of the park over which a thick network of fronds arches in a smooth pedestrian system.

Renfro continues: “By making the park greener, more accommodating to passive and active uses, more engaged at its edges, the gardens can become a magnet for this otherwise youthful and energetic city.” Charles Landry, author of The Creative City and a member of the Jury detailed: “This is a design that can act as the catalyst to regenerate the whole of Aberdeen’s city centre with significant economic impacts for the entire city. Without this type of transformational change, Aberdeen will struggle to meet the challenges it will inevitably face in the future.”

Key Facts

Status Competition win
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
Diller Scofidio + Renfro Architects
www.dillerscofidio.com

More projects by this architect

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Public Plaza, The Broad Art Museum

Redesign and expansion of MoMA

Zaryadye Park

American Folk Art Museum

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