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‘Urban beach’ to bring Dundee Waterfront to life

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March 9 2018

‘Urban beach’ to bring Dundee Waterfront to life
Optimised Environments have drawn up plans for a new area of parkland, café, water features and an ‘urban beach’ in Dundee on behalf of the city council as the latest component of its riverfront masterplan.

Waterfront Place is an area of landscaped public realm planned to sit alongside the V&A design museum and Slessor Gardens, through creation of a new promenade along the River Tay.

Amongst these landscape interventions will be a signature corten sheet steel clad cafe pavilion nestled amongst grassy mounds, intended to reinforce a sense of place while remaining subservient to the V&A itself.

Explaining their approach Optimised Environments wrote: “The building forms are asymmetrical, covered with varied landscape finishes, and open up occasionally to allow entrance within, and views through– cave-like. This oblique reference to a natural cavern is bolstered internally by the proposal for walls, floor and soffit to be exposed concrete, further accentuated by the fact that aspects of wall and soffit are set at raking angles reflective of the landform shape externally.”

This will be joined by an ancillary pavilion finished in hardwood slats to echo a planned boardwalk as well as a row of prominent beach huts clad in bright metal shingles.
A mix of hard and soft landscaping will draw Dundonians to the waterfront
A mix of hard and soft landscaping will draw Dundonians to the waterfront
A network of new pathways and furniture will encourage pedestrians to explore the waterfront
A network of new pathways and furniture will encourage pedestrians to explore the waterfront

Dundee is swapping jute, jam & journalism for sun, sea and sand
Dundee is swapping jute, jam & journalism for sun, sea and sand
Public open space will frame views of the V&A
Public open space will frame views of the V&A

11 Comments

Sir Ano
#1 Posted by Sir Ano on 9 Mar 2018 at 12:19 PM
I love the idea of this and the imagery is really nice but... Dundee...Really?

Those deck chairs better be fastened to the ground or they'll be in the Tay very quickly.
Walt Disney
#2 Posted by Walt Disney on 9 Mar 2018 at 12:26 PM
In the words of the old AHA song......

....the sun always shines, on Dundee......
Pea Soup
#3 Posted by Pea Soup on 9 Mar 2018 at 12:33 PM
I'm happy for anything that brings a bit more life into the waterfront. It's criminally underused for what could be a brilliant space. I'm still concerned the overall masterplan just makes an island of green that is totally disconnected from the city, but I'm game for any developments that diversifies the centre away from our rubbish shopping centres
Designer
#4 Posted by Designer on 9 Mar 2018 at 12:34 PM
I like it too, but only because of the surrealism of seeing beach huts and deck chairs along the Tay estuary. Considering the brief, which stipulated an urban beach and water features, I think the proposal is very nice. The stone edges which are to be illuminated around the land forms and corten clad cafe will be fantastic.
jimbob tanktop
#5 Posted by jimbob tanktop on 9 Mar 2018 at 13:17 PM
As a childhood veteran of dips in Arbroath's outdoor pool, I heartily approve of this.
Designer
#6 Posted by Designer on 9 Mar 2018 at 13:27 PM
I like it too, but only because of the surrealism of seeing beach huts and deck chairs along the Tay estuary. Considering the brief, which stipulated an urban beach and water features, I think the proposal is very nice. The stone edges which are to be illuminated around the land forms and corten clad cafe will be fantastic.
All hail king car
#7 Posted by All hail king car on 9 Mar 2018 at 13:35 PM
The road layout/street design along this part of the city is atrocious. Completely cuts off the riverside - and the new V&A - from the city with a wall of speeding motorists, bringing with it the lovely air pollution and ever present threat of being flattened by some arse in a BMW driving through a pedestrian crossing while looking at their iPhone. Otherwise, nice sandpit.
MV
#8 Posted by MV on 9 Mar 2018 at 13:49 PM
Really beautiful drawings.
Trombe Wall
#9 Posted by Trombe Wall on 9 Mar 2018 at 14:11 PM
About time something like this came to light. Please now modify the road between the proposal and Slessor Gardens. How about introducing a 20mph limit, changing the finish and raising the level to match the surrounding pedestrian areas to slow the traffic?
Sven
#10 Posted by Sven on 11 Mar 2018 at 19:25 PM
Dundonian's are oft to selling their city as the sunniest in Scotland, so this south facing site should work. Outdoor pools and city beaches are found in many European countries, so let's do this and copy. Glasgow embracing the Clyde and Edinburgh putting a roof over the train lines at Princes Street Gardens would improve the cities greatly.
Hilloch
#11 Posted by Hilloch on 12 Mar 2018 at 12:12 PM
#7
Agree 110%. The traffic engineer's have had an absolute field day. Blooming 5 lane carriageways and our favourite, the old gyratory system giving motorists a lovely we circuit to race around.

#9
There needs to be some considered acknowledgement of how people access this area. Motorists flout the 30mph limit by going at a dangerous (and for the pedestrian intimidating) 35/40mph or more meaning that for any pedestrian the city centre to shore link will not be an enjoyable one. Reducing to 20mph would be a big step in ensuring people don't feel so cut off or reluctant to make the trip. Guess it might take an accident from a curious tourist ambling across the road toward the V&A to change things.

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