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New visualisations spark Marischal Square backlash

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January 13 2015

New visualisations spark Marischal Square backlash
A proposal to build a £107m mixed use development in the heart of Aberdeen city centre is facing a public backlash following publication of images outlining the projects impact on surrounding streets by an independent visualisation studio.

Pinnacle Visualisation prepared a series of unofficial perspectives illustrating the size and scale of Halliday Fraser Munro's proposal for Marischal Square based on measurements contained in the recent planning application, although the final finish of the buildings have yet to be confirmed.

The depiction has prompted more than 4,000 campaigners to sign a petition calling for the plans to be rejected in favour of more open space but Aberdeen City Council is now under contract with Muse Developments to see it through to delivery having granted approval to the scheme in October.

Campaigners have been angered by the detrimental impact development may have on Provost Skene’s House and Marischal College alongside the potential implications for an already struggling Union Street of new retail provision.
Completion is anticipated by summer 2017
Completion is anticipated by summer 2017
Fears have been raised over the potential impact of the development
Fears have been raised over the potential impact of the development

6 Comments

wonky
#1 Posted by wonky on 13 Jan 2015 at 14:41 PM
this particular practice ought to be relieved prison sentences are not obligatory for poor design...one wonders what kinda sentence would be passed for such criminality.
Andrew Broon
#2 Posted by Andrew Broon on 13 Jan 2015 at 15:05 PM
The existing CGI already showed the scale of the development and how much it overshadowed Skene House. And many comments have already been made to that effect. Sorry its a bit to late to complain now.
Don Diamante
#3 Posted by Don Diamante on 14 Jan 2015 at 13:55 PM
It's a bit unfair of the Facebook army to base their objections on the Pinnacle video - the bland depiction of materials more than adds to the bleak and horrendously overbearing scale of the development. Had this been an official presentation by the developer then by all means go ahead and vent at will, but this is purely a publicity stunt by Pinnacle (which has worked rather better than expected I should imagine). Mr Broon #2 above is correct, all complaints should have been made at the original planning application stage, not when it's too late and they've only just realised what's getting built.
That said, the architectural merit of the development design is not much better than Pinnacles attempt, but HFM have 'the name' in Aberdeen and seem to have first refusal at most developments here, regardless of ability or expertise. The initial plan promised much but the follow up has been a let down overall, not least by the council decision not to create the civic square (I know they have not officially dismissed it and have passed decision to Roads, but Roads have no funding for upgrades, road upgrades are restricted only to what they can persuade private developers to pay for, and as it did not form part of the planning process therefore Muse have no obligation, therefore we can consider it gone).
The Marriot hotel proposal by HFM looks like it was designed by an offshore welder (no offence intended to any architecturally trained offshore welders). It's an absolute disgrace and HFM should be ashamed to have issued it.
boaby wan
#4 Posted by boaby wan on 15 Jan 2015 at 10:13 AM
I don't think it's unfair at all - sometimes planning apps tick along and no one really notices them, yes complaints would have been better during the consultation period but you can't criticise people for complaining when they see the visualisations which show the proposal from key views, and these didn't form part of the planning application either so wouldn't have been taken into consideration during the consultation period anyway….
It looks like a terrible proposal from HFM (who'd have thunk it?!) - and it's fair enough that people complain once they are aware of it...
Stevie Steve
#5 Posted by Stevie Steve on 15 Jan 2015 at 13:24 PM
That looks particularly grim.
FHM
#6 Posted by FHM on 16 Jan 2015 at 07:40 AM
Ah. Enough of those sensitive and beautiful visuals seen earlier in recent competition entries and back to the glorious, masculine blocks! Sometimes I think I may get dizzy the amount of head shaking I do in wonder when presented with the talented array of projects in Aberdeen. Again I am humbled by the mere presence of such a scheme, shown here in stunningly realistic 3D. I never even seen such an awe inspiring movie, not even Gravity (other 3D films available) at the cinema can compare to this stylistic vision of the future.

Anyway, enough of my optical shortfalls - Wow! I sometimes dream that when I wake up the centre of Aberdeen will be transformed to resemble a shining, black obelisk that has crash landed crudely adjacent to an old building, with a unique and contemporary surface that reflects the silvery patina of the surrounding ashlar granite streets and that screams "I am new. I am here. Come and shop / stay/ work within my bowels". And then I wake up. And it's reality! I could not be happier.

Welcome to Aberdeen. The Oil Capital Of Europe. We have high expectations here, perception is all, but do not compare us to other capital cities of Europe, as that is not fair.

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