Young architects square up Aberdeen

26 Feb 2010

Graduates present designs for Union Terrace Gardens

A group of young graduates of Robert Gordon University are wading into the debate on Union Terrace Gardens, Aberdeen. The City Square Project envisions the radical transformation of the city centre by raising the Union Terrace Gardens and the Denburn Valley to the surrounding street level and covering over the railway and the dual carriageway.

The proposal will create over 5 acres of ground at street level and a further 2.5 acres of all-weather, covered space with significant daylight below, costing between £120 and £140 million. Sir Ian Wood CBE, Chairman of Wood Group, has pledged £50m to the scheme.

Three Master of Architecture graduates have released a range of designs illustrating the wide possibilities for the City Square Project. Leading the group is 25 year old architectural assistant, Graham Edgar. He said: “The design possibilities are endless and this is a fantastic opportunity for Aberdeen to create an iconic civic space and gardens, not a flat concrete square. The on-going public consultation exercise is trying to find out if the public supports the vision of a more attractive and accessible, greener, better-connected and safer city. If people demonstrate they want transformational change, then a full design brief would be compiled and the project would go to an international design competition."

Elaine Lourdes, architectural assistant and leader of the graphics production said: “Our aim is to get people thinking about what could be so that they support the City Square project and get involved in shaping what is in it. We think it is important that people share their own views on how the design should progress...The proposal has the potential to drastically improve the pedestrian experience of the city and raise the profile of Aberdeen internationally. Our eight designs meet the criteria of a civic space with at least 2.5 acres of gardens, an all-weather concourse underneath street level and a contemporary arts centre.”

Laura Paton

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