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Aberdeen mounts tourism push Rubislaw Quarry Heritage Centre plan

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October 22 2014

Aberdeen mounts tourism push Rubislaw Quarry Heritage Centre plan
Plans have emerged to construct a £5m heritage centre overhanging the lip of the former Rubislaw Quarry, Aberdeen, dubbed the largest man-made hole in Europe. Over 10m tons of granite was extracted from the hole between 1740 and 1969 and used to build much of the present city, but the site remains largely forgotten since operations ceased.

Now Halliday Fraser Munro Architects plan to wake the area from its slumber with designs for the Rubislaw Quarry Heritage Centre by lowering the water level of the flooded pit by 50m and opening up access to the public.

In their design statement HFM wrote: “The new centre celebrates the excitement of the quarry through use of a dynamic form. The façade makes use of reclaimed Rubislaw granite mimicking the quarry’s rock face in an abstract way.

“While the frontage to Queens Road is windowless the rear maximises the use of glass to give as many views of the quarry as possible.”

Funding is presently being sought from Aberdeen City & Shire, Aberdeen University and Robert Gordon University as well as private sector partners through the Granite Foundation charity to realise the vision.

It is hoped to win approval for the build by December allowing completion as early as 2016. The scheme follows separate plans to build office space on vacant surface ground around the quarry.

Education, exhibition, restaurant and conference space will be provided
Education, exhibition, restaurant and conference space will be provided
Primary elevations will be faced with reclaimed granite whilst rear facades take the form of concrete with a rough timber board finish
Primary elevations will be faced with reclaimed granite whilst rear facades take the form of concrete with a rough timber board finish

Spoil will be excavated to provide extensive underground car parking
Spoil will be excavated to provide extensive underground car parking
Visitors will experience vertigo inducing perspectives of the man-made landmark
Visitors will experience vertigo inducing perspectives of the man-made landmark

6 Comments

Tony Hawk
#1 Posted by Tony Hawk on 22 Oct 2014 at 10:42 AM
Can't wait till this is built, I'm gonna boardslide the entire 'Rubislaw Quarry Heritage Centre' plinth at the front entrance.
Cadmonkey
#2 Posted by Cadmonkey on 22 Oct 2014 at 18:51 PM
Genuinely interested to know why this is regarded as an appropriate use of public money.
Egbert
#3 Posted by Egbert on 23 Oct 2014 at 11:08 AM
Interesting that there's apparently sufficient money and political will for a highly questionable visitor attraction focused on a hole in the ground on a business park out in the 'burbs, but not for, say, the long-standing and fully worked-out plans for the Peacock Visual Arts Centre in the heart of the city.
Fitz Hat
#4 Posted by Fitz Hat on 23 Oct 2014 at 11:23 AM
@Egbert: I don't have an opinion on this scheme, but to call Rubislaw Quarry "a hole in the ground on a business park out in the 'burbs" is either being dishonest or ignorant.
Jimbo
#5 Posted by Jimbo on 23 Oct 2014 at 13:25 PM
Very much doubt it will be seen as a viable or appropriate use of public funding (although with Aberdeen City Council you can never tell).

Looks like another slightly bizarre and rather poorly executed vanity project by Halliday Fraser Munro. File it alongside their bizarre and ill conceived idea of putting an umbrella over Union Street in order to link one soulless shopping centre to other, fellow soulless, shopping centres.
Price of Progress
#6 Posted by Price of Progress on 23 Oct 2014 at 13:33 PM
Concrete and rough timber board in the windowless frontage onto Queen's Road.

Lovely.

Surely there's an argument to use Rubislaw Quarry granite on a facade overlooking a main commuter route?

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