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Canopy vision for Aberdeen’s Union Street showcased

January 27 2014

Canopy vision for Aberdeen’s Union Street showcased
A new vision to revitalise Aberdeen’s ailing Union Street by way of a giant illuminated canopy have been unveiled by Halliday Fraser Munro Architects to stimulate fresh debate on the future of the city.

Composed of a translucent, colour changing canopy would bring the indoors outdoors on the shopping thoroughfare between Market Street and Bridge Street, connecting the city’s main railway station with four existing shopping centres - Bon Accord, St Nicholas, Trinity and Union Square.

This would entail relocating the station entrance to a new civic square on Union Street, overlooking Union Terrace Gardens and restricting vehicular access to buses. The lofty vision is the brainchild of practice director John Halliday as a means of providing weatherproof pedestrian links for shoppers to cut down on unnecessary car journeys and dovetails with the practices plan to partially raise Union Terrace Gardens.

Built in lighting would allow the possibility  to change the ‘mood’ colour of the structure at night, transforming Union Street into a 'fifth shopping centre' for the city,

Although the scheme has not been costed and has been conceived privately Halliday insists it is not a ‘pipe dream’ but rather ‘practical and possible’ to achieve.
A new public square would be created, connecting the railway station to Union Street
A new public square would be created, connecting the railway station to Union Street
Union Street would be turned into Aberdeen's fifth indoor shopping centre
Union Street would be turned into Aberdeen's fifth indoor shopping centre


#1 Posted by Wonky on 27 Jan 2014 at 20:29 PM
Great idea. Hardly revolutionary, but then anything relatively different is these days, no matter how simple. Like the concept if not entirely convinced by HFM's design. I do like this sort of design when it's done well, as it is in a city like Leeds. It's definitely in the right direction and should be seriously considered.
Glasgow ought to be doing the same with Buchanan St- preferably Sauchiehall Street ( to attract trade, footfall etc) and even Argyle St- would make a massive difference to the city ( particularly when you consider the weather).
I've always thought it very strange why a Northern cities like Aberdeen and Glasgow have so few arcades- I do remember seeing the old pictures of the Tontine on the Trongate and it's classical arcades. Turin is a city that does this very impressively. Our cities need to do something to stem the flow of gas guzzlers to the convenience of the out of town megamalls.
#2 Posted by Sven on 28 Jan 2014 at 10:11 AM
Wonky has said almost exactly what I was going to say. I do think the design needs more glass and less irrelevant 'design' to maximise light.
Don Diamante
#3 Posted by Don Diamante on 28 Jan 2014 at 10:21 AM
Barney will hate this (if he feels hating it will get him the most votes) just as he hates anything progressive that he hasn't thought of himself.
Then, after publically torpedoing it, will complain bitterly about all Aberdeen's business and services being relocated to Dundee.
#4 Posted by James on 28 Jan 2014 at 12:39 PM
Good idea to bring union street back to life, create a civic square, connect businesses and keep the gardens. So it will probably never happen, too many plus points for Aberdeen council.

Cladding the canopy with PV, in places, could provide energy for street lighting, escalators, signs etc. Technology like EFTE with built in pv cells would work well and could change colour whilst also being translucent depending on light levels.
Partick Bateman
#5 Posted by Partick Bateman on 28 Jan 2014 at 16:56 PM
What landscape did people put in their renders before the High Line?
#6 Posted by scott on 6 Feb 2014 at 10:40 AM
I agree with Wonky.
Great concept - links together the parts of the city centre which receive the highest number of visitors, and presents a more unified proposal for the city than the botched UTG project ever did.
Not convinced about HFM's design, a lot more work to be done. But if a stronger proposal was put forward I would back it whole heartedly!

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