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Granite Web and Winter Garden vie for Aberdeen gardens supremacy

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November 24 2011

Granite Web and Winter Garden vie for Aberdeen gardens supremacy
A jury tasked with selecting a winning design to be put forward for a plan to revitalise Aberdeen’s Union Terrace gardens have left two schemes in the final running – The Granite Web and Winter Garden.

The schemes were numbered one and two respectively in the anonymous competition with their designers now being tasked with furnishing additional detail on their plans prior to a winner being announced in the New Year.

Competition organiser Malcolm Reading, commented:  “The jury’s unanimous decision at this stage is that further clarification work should be done by two design teams. This clarification is in the spirit of the competitive process and will allow the jury to crystallise their thoughts on each team’s respective key features and provide a clearer basis for a final decision on an outright winner.

“This is not an unusual situation for such a complex design challenge. The jury is trying to fully understand all aspects of the two schemes and, in particular, to test the durability of the respective concepts.”

It is by no means certain that the winning entry will ever be realised however with cash strapped Aberdeen City Council keen to pass the buck for the controversial scheme onto local residents via a referendum.

A decision on whether to go down this route will be made in December.
The Granite Web looks great in visuals but critics have questioned how well it would translate to reality
The Granite Web looks great in visuals but critics have questioned how well it would translate to reality
The Winter Gardens scheme got the public nod
The Winter Gardens scheme got the public nod

12 Comments

Scot
#1 Posted by Scot on 24 Nov 2011 at 12:12 PM
The scheme being awarded TIF funding is conditional on a show of support, the best way to gauge this support would be via a referendum. How exactly is that 'passing the buck?'
Dave Anderson
#2 Posted by Dave Anderson on 24 Nov 2011 at 12:30 PM
Regarding the web design, by the time you set a H&S guy of to that proposal, it won't look anything like the photos!
John
#3 Posted by John on 24 Nov 2011 at 12:57 PM
Scot - the scheme has already been rejected by a public consultation.
Enjoy
#4 Posted by Enjoy on 24 Nov 2011 at 20:03 PM
Right...so Foster's is one, who's the other?
Bella Maglinchey
#5 Posted by Bella Maglinchey on 25 Nov 2011 at 09:38 AM
Here's big Bella's advice:

1.Cover the road and build the pavilion from design two.
2. Leave the rest of the gardens as they are with only improvements to paintwork, paving etc.

The new pavilion can be used year round for cultural activities and will perhaps stimulate a new appreciation for the current Victorian gardens which I personally think are rather beautiful.
Helpful Person
#6 Posted by Helpful Person on 25 Nov 2011 at 10:46 AM
"Right...so Foster's is one, who's the other?"

Diller Scofidio+Renfro / Keppie Design

But which one is which?
JJ
#7 Posted by JJ on 25 Nov 2011 at 11:00 AM
Design 1 (the spider's Web) is Diller Scofidio+Renfro / Keppie Design
Helpful Person
#8 Posted by Helpful Person on 25 Nov 2011 at 11:06 AM
Right....

Why do you say that?
Bella Maglinchey
#9 Posted by Bella Maglinchey on 25 Nov 2011 at 11:40 AM
@ Helpful Person

Design 2 looks like the work of Foster -- look at the pavilion design and compare it to his buildings. There's a resemblance.
Helpful Person
#10 Posted by Helpful Person on 28 Nov 2011 at 09:53 AM
@ Bella

Actually you're right, looks like a watered down Sage.

So not only is it a poorly regurgitated Sage, its concept also a copy of something that exists in a rival Scottish City?

How do Aberdonians feel about that, not getting something unique for such an important design in their city?

I think its rather patronishing on Norman's part personally
Bella Maglinchey
#11 Posted by Bella Maglinchey on 28 Nov 2011 at 12:28 PM
@Helpful Person

The Sage is in Newcastle which is an English city.

I think certain architects, especially the 'star architects' have a distinctive style. Norman Foster seems to like the whole geometrically derived/expressed structure e.g the Gherkin.
Helpful Person
#12 Posted by Helpful Person on 28 Nov 2011 at 14:04 PM
Sorry Bella should have said, the reference to "the copy of something" was the Cibill Palace in the Botanic Gardens, Glasgow - so the concept isn't entirely original?

You are right about the Starchitect style, he likes his diagrids etc.

Would Aberdonians like their park referred to the "Foster" park forever more?

I think its yet another example of Foster blowing his own trumpet without putting the client first. The building has taken over the park.

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