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Aberdeen’s Peacock Visual Arts Centre could come back from the dead

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July 25 2013

Aberdeen’s Peacock Visual Arts Centre could come back from the dead
Plans to erect a £13m cultural attraction in Aberdeen’s Union Terrace Gardens could be revived after Aberdeen City Council’s deputy leader said the abandoned plan could be resurrected in ‘some shape or form’.

Competition winning designs drawn up by Brisac Gonzalez, as far back as June 2008, were unceremoniously dropped by Aberdeen City Council in 2009 – when Sir Ian Wood tabled alternative plans for the site.

The change of heart follows years of prevarication over what to do with the gardens and the subsequent loss of European grant funding and a £4.3m cheque from the Scottish Arts Council for the project, which also had planning permission.

In an attempt to break the impasse project architect Edgar Gonzalez had drawn up a number of half-way house schemes which would have entailed partially decking over road and rail lines to create a new square, whilst also accommodating the arts centre.
Peacock have long since abandoned the plan - making any resurrection tricky
Peacock have long since abandoned the plan - making any resurrection tricky
The Union Terrace Gardens fiasco looks set to rumble on for years yet
The Union Terrace Gardens fiasco looks set to rumble on for years yet

5 Comments

Peacock
#1 Posted by Peacock on 25 Jul 2013 at 16:55 PM
UR, I think you missed the 'h' from the work before Ian Wood.
In all seriousness, it would be great to see this resurrected in it's entirety. Helped in no small part by the dragging through the dirt of the city's cultural city of the year bid, no doubt.
wonky
#2 Posted by wonky on 25 Jul 2013 at 17:04 PM
In typically philistine like British short termism can't we just concrete over the top of it and turn it into a golf range for the Granite City's business men whilst they wait for their wife's finishing the shopping or even a shopping mall with car park-cinema-fast food chains...seriously though, this looks superb and would make a wonderful addition to an already tremendous asset for Aberdeen.
scott
#3 Posted by scott on 25 Jul 2013 at 20:07 PM
Aberdeen is a city with enormous wealth yet it benefits from very little investment in the public realm. It's an important city for Scotland, the UK, and Europe, but has very little to offer its residents and visitors. Especially when compared to other Scottish cities and the UK in general. That's why it's such a kick in the teeth to be disregarded for the cultural city of the year bid, and quite rightly so.
The city council should focus more of its attention on trying to improve the city, and not whether or not it will be politically divisive.
Oh Dear
#4 Posted by Oh Dear on 26 Jul 2013 at 09:57 AM
This won't make one iota of difference to the broken city centre that is Aberdeen City. Its not inspirational. Its not transformational. Its a pointless art centre stuck into the side of a hill - even more pointless when you consider that yards away Barney proposes to spend millions on the existing art gallery.

In the words of Jim Bowen : here's what you could have won

http://www.thecitygardenproject.co.uk/videotour.htm
Cat Flap
#5 Posted by Cat Flap on 26 Jul 2013 at 13:12 PM
@Oh Dear - It's depressing watching that video again. I remember how optimistic I felt when the shortlist came out, and then again when the winner was announced, not to mention when it was going to be largely funded by IW. I thought this was really going to put the granite city back on the map.
Shame on the new council administration who left us looking like a backward, embarrassing shambles (at least Glasgow briefly stole the limelight on this front with the George Square fiasco).
The Peacock Centre would be OK, but nothing on what could have been a real urban regenerator to the City Centre. No wonder we were viewed upon as lacking vision.
All the best to Dundee who are really embracing the potential of their city.

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