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Planning sought for Union Terrace Gardens intervention

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May 16 2017

Planning sought for Union Terrace Gardens intervention
LDA Design have formally requested that planning permission be granted for a major intervention at Aberdeen’s Union Terrace Gardens which would see a variety of alterations, repairs, extensions and demolitions carried out within the park.

Amongst the architectural interventions planned are an events entrance building and toilet block fronting Union Street together with a café pavilion, gallery exhibition space within retained Union Terrace arches and an event space at the foot of the Burns Monument.

To facilitate these works a number of key interventions are planned such as removal of a slip road from Rosemount Viaduct to Union Terrace to allow the gradient to be lowered on the slope down to the gardens to allow an accessible footpath to be laid, forming a natural amphitheatre.

Elsewhere a series of raised walkways will be inserted. Sporting curved balustrades, copper shingle cladding and granite paving these will open presently inaccessible points in the grounds.

A new public building off Union Street will also be formed beneath Union Bridge, upgrading disused Victorian lavatories and plugging into the gardens by its own dedicated walkway. Describing this new events space LDA wrote: “Suspended effortlessly above the Gardens, the new glazed envelope utilises light touch screens throughout the design to allow expression of the historical fabric and complement the ornate nature of the reimagined conserved interior and the strong aesthetic of the curving exterior granite.

“This striking new structure also provides a multilevel viewing connection to the gardens for visitors and incorporates disabled and ambulant lift and walkway access to the lower level of the Garden.”

Existing balustrades to the parapet of Union Terrace will be repaired as part of this work with a single storey curved extension rising behind to frame a statue of Edward VII. A glazed screen will also be inserted along the length of Union bridge to prevent trespass over low cast iron balustrades.

If approved work could get underway by autumn 2019.
A civic entrance off Union Street will connect to the gardens and forgotten Victorian lavatories below
A civic entrance off Union Street will connect to the gardens and forgotten Victorian lavatories below
A glass balustrade has been specified to forestall falls
A glass balustrade has been specified to forestall falls

A new events space will be carved out at the foot of the gardens
A new events space will be carved out at the foot of the gardens
The plans gained public consent following a public consultation last year
The plans gained public consent following a public consultation last year

8 Comments

Chris
#1 Posted by Chris on 16 May 2017 at 15:11 PM
"To forestall falls" - can we stop treating adults like toddlers?

Why is it so difficult to restore the gardens in a manner that doesn't compromise its Victorian integrity?
Bill S
#2 Posted by Bill S on 16 May 2017 at 21:34 PM
#1, whilst I agree the glazed balustrades look cheap and ill thought out, they are required as part of the brief as unfortunately Union Bridge has seen a number of suicide attempts over the years. For the past 3 years, I think, Heras fencing has been placed in concrete footings, so I suppose the glazed finish looks a bit better than that. Personally I would prefer some filigree and finess in the detailing, perhaps a contemporary take on wrought iron-work that is subtly fixed on the "open" side of the bridge?
Graeme McCormick
#3 Posted by Graeme McCormick on 17 May 2017 at 11:56 AM
Has all the hallmarks of a temporary structure which will not age gracefully
Matt
#4 Posted by Matt on 17 May 2017 at 13:06 PM
Its difficult to understand the architecture due to the poor quality of the images. The glass balustrade is horrendous....
Wee Man
#5 Posted by Wee Man on 17 May 2017 at 13:57 PM
Thank god. At last - a park for midgets.
Sven
#6 Posted by Sven on 18 May 2017 at 12:30 PM
This is bad: it looks like airport security fencing mixed with a bus station. For being glass it is very imposing, heinous and I am lost for words why someone would design this.
Jon
#7 Posted by Jon on 18 May 2017 at 14:44 PM
No offence to the person that did them (clearly not had access to the best software) but could they not have invested a bit more time and effort in better quality visualisations? These are pretty sub-standard for a project of such prominence. Its not difficult to sub-con this sort of work these days, I have seen third year students who make better quality images. This project needs good visuals to sell the idea, and I am afraid these don't. They raise more questions of the ambiguity of the design than they resolve, and I have a feeling that the design itself is very ambiguous and rushed. Again, no offence to the designers, as they clearly have had an agenda pushed on to them by philistines in the council with little knowledge of good design, but this surely must be one of the worst proposals we have seen yet for UTG.

Bring back Peacock!
A Local Pleb
#8 Posted by A Local Pleb on 19 May 2017 at 10:26 AM
On one hand I like the idea of what they are proposing within the gardens but think the potential of that is let down by the Civic Entrance on Union St. Is the balustrading to the bridge not part of a listed structure hence the use of glass - perhaps it should be mounted on the other side?

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