Aberdeen City Garden: Union Terrace Gardens

Union Terrace Gardens, Building, Architect, Design Team, Martha Schwartz, Plans, Images

Union Terrace Gardens Aberdeen

Aberdeen City Centre Development Proposals by Scottish Enterprise, North East Scotland

9 Jun 2016 – Update:

New Proposals for Union Terrace Gardens Aberdeen

15 Jun 2011

Aberdeen City Garden Architecture Competition

MALCOLM READING CONSULTANTS INTERNATIONAL DESIGN COMPETITION FOR CITY GARDEN PROJECT ATTRACTS RECORD NUMBER OF COLLABORATIONS

The International Design Competition for the Aberdeen City Garden Project has attracted some of the leading lights of the architectural world. An impressive fifty-five submissions were received by the competition organisers, Malcolm Reading Consultants.

Over 70% of these are collaborative efforts, where award-winning international teams have joined forces with smaller practices and landscape architects.

Malcolm Reading said: “The submissions are of exceptional quality. The level of collaboration is the highest we have ever seen and reveals that many competitors appreciate that this project demands a comprehensive range of skill and expertise. Many of the teams are led by highly successful design practices, including a number of Stirling award winners and a Pritkzer Laureate. There is a particularly high involvement of Scottish firms in the teams and strong representation from the US and continental Europe. “The project is an exciting but complex one, and it’s attracted a serious constituency. These are some of the most accomplished names in the architectural firmament.”

Union Terrace Gardens – existing site:
Union Terrace Gardens
Union Terrace Gardens Aberdeen image from RG

Following a selection of the short list later this month, the successful design teams will be issued with a design brief for the Aberdeen City Garden. The project proposes a radical transformation of a key part of central Aberdeen to create a focal point that will provide a safe all-year round garden and civic space, by raising the inaccessible, under-used Union Terrace Gardens to cover the unattractive Denburn dual carriageway and adjacent railway line.

Mr. Reading added: “The design brief will underline that the site must be primarily a garden, a public space for Aberdeen.”

“The current gardens are under-performing as a public space. They are under-used and the changes in levels across the site are barriers to its use as a thoroughfare. The City Garden Project aims to make the site a vital place in the city. The gardens should be a destination with purpose, delivering a clearly defined green urban park with a cultural focus. The design must appeal to both residents and visitors of all ages and abilities offering something relevant for young people, families, students, young professionals, city centre workers, weekend leisure users, tourists and business visitors. The expressions of interest are the first stage in this two-stage contest. These fifty five submissions will be reviewed and a short-list will be selected and asked to produce a design based on a comprehensive brief. These designs will go on public display towards the end of September. They will be reviewed by the public and a technical panel. The jury will take account of the feedback and conduct interviews prior to a winner being announced.

The city council will then decide if the design is to be taken to the planning stage.

Previously:

Aberdeen City Garden : Background to the Design Competition, excerpts below

19 Apr 2011

Aberdeen City Garden Design Competition

Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) is delighted to announce a two-stage competition to transform the centre of Aberdeen.

13 Jun 2011 – submission deadline

MRC is managing the competition on behalf of the City Garden Project Management Board and has a dedicated competition website at: www.malcolmreading.co.uk/architecturalcompetitions/citygarden

The six hectare site, which covers Union Terrace Gardens and the Denburn Valley dual carriageway and railway line, currently suffers from changes of level, poor access and circulation. It is under-used despite its huge potential as a green public-cultural space – adjacent to the historic spine of Union Street and at the very nub of the city.

The competition brief sets out the project’s aims – to improve street level access from areas of the city that are at present cut-off, to create new green gardens and landscaping, a civic space for outdoor events, a new cultural centre, a café quarter, new links with bus and railway stations, as well as, a new spatial relationship with the Green and Union Square.

Malcolm Reading, who previously ran the competitions for the V&A’s Exhibition Road site, the British Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010 and Glasgow School of Art commented:

“This a rare opportunity to re-design the centre of this eminent city, creating sparkling green public spaces and new routes, connecting areas that have become detached, and providing a place for fun outdoor events and exciting new cultural buildings. “For any designer passionate about cities and how to make them inspiring and alive…well, this is a chance to make their name and reputation.”

Competitors have until June 13 2011 to enter the competition. Each team needs to be design-led and should include an urban designer, architect, structural, civil and services engineering, landscape architect and a cost consultant.

All entrants must follow the registration procedure as explained on the competition website.

From the responses a shortlist of five to seven will be chosen to work up concept propositions (for which an honorarium will be paid).

The shortlisted schemes will be reviewed by a technical panel and exhibited to the public in Aberdeen. A final Jury will conduct interviews to select a winning team.

The shortlist will be announced in the week beginning July 18 2011 and the winning team announced in mid-December 2011.

The City Garden Project will cost around £140 million. It is anticipated that half the money will come from the private sector and half from the funding mechanism known as Tax Incremental Finance.

In November 2008, Sir Ian Wood announced that he would pledge £50 million towards a transformational scheme to redevelop Union Terrace Gardens and the Denburn Valley. A number of schemes have been considered by the city before but have failed due to a lack of private sector funding.

22 Mar 2011

Union Terrace Gardens – Aberdeen City Garden

MRC to Run Aberdeen City Garden Project Competition

New Architectural Competition to Launch in April

Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) has been appointed to run a design competition by the charitable trust overseeing Aberdeen’s new City Garden Project. Aberdeen City Gardens Trust aims to revitalise Aberdeen’s city centre by creating a new green setting, new civic and cultural facilities and rationalising existing road and railway links.

Views on the Union Terrace Gardens plans welcome: info(at)e-architect.co.uk

Aberdeen City Garden : main page with current information – excerpts below

18 Oct 2011

Aberdeen City Garden – Designs

Designs to Transform Aberdeen City Centre Unveiled

Aberdeen City Garden – Team 1 proposal:
Union Terrace Gardens
image of Team 1 proposal

Aberdeen City Garden – Team 2 proposal:
Aberdeen City Garden
image of Team 2 proposal

Aberdeen City Garden – Team 3 proposal:
Union Terrace Gardens
image of Team 3 proposal

Aberdeen City Garden – Team 4 proposal:
Union Terrace Garden
image of Team 4 proposal

Aberdeen City Garden – Team 5 proposal:
Aberdeen City Gardens
image of Team 5 proposal

Aberdeen City Garden – Team 6 proposal:
Union Terrace Gardens
image of Team 6 proposal

Aberdeen City Garden Architecture Competition Exhibition

19 Oct – 2 Nov 2011

The six shortlisted entries for the Aberdeen City Garden Design Competition will be unveiled at a public exhibition in the city on October 19th 2011.

Images and models of each proposed concept design will be on show for two weeks and visitors to the exhibition will be invited to express a preference. The competition jury, chaired by Sir Duncan Rice, former principal of the University of Aberdeen, will meet on the 8th November.

The exhibition is being held at Unit 10 of The Academy, Belmont Street – adjacent to the site and runs until the November 2nd.

A winner will be announced in November, following the Jury’s deliberations.


To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.




Union Terrace Gardens – Related Links

Peacock Visual Arts Centre Aberdeen
Peacock Visual Arts Centre Aberdeen
image from architects

Union Square Aberdeen development
Union Square Aberdeen
image from architects




Union Street Hotel Aberdeen

Peacock Visual Arts Building architects : Brisac Gonzalez Architects

Marischal College by Holmes
Marischal College Aberdeen
image from architects

Comments / photos for the Union Terrace GardensAberdeen City Garden page welcome

Union Terrace Gardens Aberdeen : page

Website: Aberdeen