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Holmes-Miller showcase Marischal College revamp

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January 24 2012

Holmes-Miller showcase Marischal College revamp
Recently merged architecture practice Holmes-Miller have showcased their work on Aberdeen’s A-listed Marischal College following completion of a £40m project to transform the world’s second largest granite building into a new home for Aberdeen City Council.

The rejuvenated structure has seen the oak paneled Senate Rooms restored and a quadrangle car park reinstated as a civic space through paving with Caithness and granite flagstones and computerised fountains.

To make the building more efficient two additional floors have been inserted behind the retained façade by lowering floor to ceiling heights and inserting a new zinc clad roof level.

Douglas Jack, Holmes Project Partner, said: “At a time when Scotland was expanding with confidence the 'skyscraper-perpendicular Gothic' style encapsulated both the religious idealism and the civic confidence of the late 19th century Scotland. It was also the ideal style to show what granite could achieve with the delicate tracery and sculpted pinnacles.

“One of the greatest challenges in the redesign of a historic building is how the design and arrangement of internal spaces are suited for a modern environment and how they integrate with existing structure, fenestration and historical details. At Marischal College, Holmes saw this as paramount to the design, and this is evident firstly at the granite arched main entrance, located in the building’s six storey high, West Wing.

“While looking at this the newly cleaned building, it reminds us what it must have been like in 1906 at the grand opening ceremony, where the building reached to the sky as an example of ordered purity amongst the drab collection of buildings in the surrounding area and once again Marischal College confidently fulfils its place as an icon of the 'Silver City'.  The cleaned granite symbolises the rebirth of this fine building from a vacant and deteriorating college to a new and vibrant local government civic centre.”

Photography by Keith Hunter.
100 years of dirt and pollution have been scrubbed from the facade to reveal the original silver-grey finish
100 years of dirt and pollution have been scrubbed from the facade to reveal the original silver-grey finish
Collegiate style cloisters have been retained
Collegiate style cloisters have been retained

Custom built booths and desks aim to streamline the work of the council
Custom built booths and desks aim to streamline the work of the council
Marischal has secured the last of the granite stored at the local Kemnay quarry
Marischal has secured the last of the granite stored at the local Kemnay quarry

Reception spaces are defined by white lined walls and Kemnay granite flooring
Reception spaces are defined by white lined walls and Kemnay granite flooring
Roof lights and a full height void have been inserted to allow light deep into the building
Roof lights and a full height void have been inserted to allow light deep into the building

The contemporary interior contrasts with the Victorian facade
The contemporary interior contrasts with the Victorian facade
The restored Senate Rooms now serve as Aberdeen's main civil wedding venue
The restored Senate Rooms now serve as Aberdeen's main civil wedding venue

6 Comments

boab
#1 Posted by boab on 24 Jan 2012 at 12:42 PM
Awsome project
Holmes Miller should be very proud
davie
#2 Posted by davie on 24 Jan 2012 at 12:53 PM
HFM should be binned from the Tripple Kirks Project and these guys should do it!!!!
Andrew Brown
#3 Posted by Andrew Brown on 24 Jan 2012 at 13:04 PM
"100 years of dirt and pollution have been scrubbed from the facade to reveal the original silver-grey finish" - What about the kirk at the end of the photo, that is still dirty?
Flinton
#4 Posted by Flinton on 24 Jan 2012 at 16:01 PM
Fantastic project. Well done.
Worth a trip to have a look round I think (in the summer!)
D to the R
#5 Posted by D to the R on 24 Jan 2012 at 19:25 PM
This is the way forward for Scottish architects ... not alot of new build around ! Proper adaptive restoration - looks very good indeed !
Enjoy
#6 Posted by Enjoy on 24 Jan 2012 at 21:45 PM
"skyscraper-perpendicular Gothic"

LOL

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