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£1bn Aberdeen satellite town wins approval

February 27 2015

£1bn Aberdeen satellite town wins approval
Aberdeen City Council has approved plans for a £1bn satellite town which will ultimately provide up to 7,000 new homes on the outskirts of the city.

Grandhome, Bridge of Don, is a 40 year Andres Duany masterplan involving the phased creation of a series of traditional style neighbourhoods each with walkable access to shops, work places, green spaces and community services.

Phase one will consist of 600 homes around a central square, designed to evoke a ‘strong identity that draws from the distinctive character of the North- East, including Old Aberdeen and surrounding local towns’.

A Grandhome Trust spokesperson said: “Grandhome’s masterplan is based on the principle of the transect. The transect measures the character of an environment from rural to urban with its purpose being to provide a range of environments or zones from the urban high street hub through to the lower density residential neighbourhoods on the settlement edge.

"In contrast to onesize- fits-all developments where all the streets feel the same, the  purpose of the transect is to incorporate the different range of paths, lanes, minor streets, main streets and high street that make up our traditional communities.

"Densities, building heights, house types, building setbacks and other issues are then correlated to each zone providing a rich and varied development as opposed to suburban monoculture.”

A detailed planning application for phase 1 housing will be filed this spring with infrastructure work expected to get underway later in the year for completion by 2019.
Grandhome joins similar planned new towns in the Aberdeen area; notably Chapelton of Elsick
Grandhome joins similar planned new towns in the Aberdeen area; notably Chapelton of Elsick
Homes will be modelled on the local vernacular
Homes will be modelled on the local vernacular


#1 Posted by Hingwy on 27 Feb 2015 at 11:01 AM
Imported state-side Duany scheme demonstrates understanding of Aberdonian context by drawing a Corvette and Camaro.
Eb. Howard
#2 Posted by Eb. Howard on 27 Feb 2015 at 12:26 PM
These watercolours don't convey the reality of these new towns. The make and the model of the cars is not the problem, it's that there's one car parked on the side of the street.

Much like Poundbury, the drawings show a utopia that is never really achieved. Down there in Prince Charles' little experiment are all these 'quaint' little streets filled with modern 4x4's. And the 'village squares' become car parks, nothing more.
Big Chantelle
#3 Posted by Big Chantelle on 27 Feb 2015 at 13:00 PM

You seem to be one of these concrete modernists who are hellbent on trying to malign attempts by people to live in a community designed utilizing traditional architecture principles. Is it not Cumbernauld town centre enough for ya?

I notice you keep mentioning modern cars as if this somehow makes people who want a traditionally inspired house 'hypocrites'. It's just an absurd point on your part.

People will not exist in the modern world with horses and carts. Advances in technology means cars have been designed. And bravo -- they're great.

But dwellings are different beats from cars. A dwelling has to provide a roof over one's head. Security. Warmth. A place to stay. Thus, the way -- and under what principles -- a house is designed, IS different to the manner in which a car is designed. The reason cars are the way they are is because old style transportation would not suffice for today's lifestyle. Bu house which have traditional aesthetics in no way, shape or form, hinder a person from living a good, modern, healthy life. In fact, studies show that MOST people prefer the traditional architecture style over your preferred brand of concrete modernism.

So bring this development on.
#4 Posted by Maaarcus on 27 Feb 2015 at 13:08 PM
This development reminds me of Tornagrain, Inverness, another example of a foreign party romanticising the idea of a Scottish village. Much like Tornagrain the developer has created a scheme utilising standard building vernacular, and as such, misses the opportunity to create something a bit more ambitious (even iconic) - something that might just restore the architectural reputation of Aberdeen.
#5 Posted by james on 27 Feb 2015 at 13:27 PM
dear BC, the trouble is, image 3 just looks like the same council house scheme that I was born and brought up in the 1960's. Emperor's new clothes n'at no?
Eb. Howard
#6 Posted by Eb. Howard on 27 Feb 2015 at 13:52 PM
You may have me confused with someone else, this is my first post on the subject Big Chantelle?

You'll notice my post contains no comment on the dwellings shown in this image, or any reference to the design of them for that matter. My concern was the reality of the streetviews provided. The character of this environment will change considerably when suitable measures for transportation and parking is provided. These watercolours are pretty pictures but not much else.

If there is anyone that is 'hellbent' on anything, it is you for feeling the need to defend the nature of the development before anyone has cast comment on it.
Galina Tachieva
#7 Posted by Galina Tachieva on 27 Feb 2015 at 21:59 PM
I am the managing partner at DPZ and I am posting a link to our website. It shows the Grandhome project renderings created by our office. The sketches in the article were neither produced or reviewed by our office.
#8 Posted by Roddy on 27 Feb 2015 at 23:38 PM
Thanks Galina .
I can understand why you want to clarify DPZ's position . The images above ,nevertheless feature on the website.
Your watercolours are definitely of a superior quality. However, I can't say the same for the style of housing depicted there. A pastiche of Scottish Vernacular in all its bucolic glory . It's a shame because the planning looks fairly thoughtful.

As a devoted modernist I could even have gone for something in the PoMo style à la Arquitectonica with external red spiral staircases or palm tree'd sidewalks . Alas I fear we have the climate for neither.
#9 Posted by FHM on 28 Feb 2015 at 01:55 AM
Many thanks for your link Galina; it's very useful to be able to compare your images with say, the "cream-of-the-crop" ones for the glorious and holy city that is The Oil Capital Of Europe. A few points though:

a) Image number 1 seems as if you have gone to Beamish and ripped the heart and soul out of that mock Victorian "town". Can you confirm if that was a precedent?
b) Image number 2 suggests you have moved from Northumberland and ended up in the "Shambles" in York. Was this another precedent?
c) Image number 3, wow. Now you have take a gentrified piece of England and transported it to Scotland. Was this intentional?
d) Image number 4; suddenly all the roof finishes have changed from a horizontal material (presumably slate of some form) to what can only be suggested as standing seam metal. Are we in Aviemore or maybe further afield in Switzerland?

If you want, I could pass on a few local specialists who may be able to improve upon the scheme with unique granite cladding and smooth rendered finishes? Otherwise, there is this "amazeballs" Practice operating out of Glasgow at the moment who could be of some assistance; DPB I think they are called.
Methilated Spirits
#10 Posted by Methilated Spirits on 28 Feb 2015 at 12:28 PM
Overall, it looks like an excellent development - good layout and great to see a vernacular character that, with a few minor tweaks, will reflect tradition in the north-east of Scotland, much more than the bog standard speculative housing that, until now, has been the norm in Scotland.

It is great to see Chapelton of Elsick getting off the ground and the plans for Grandhome and Tornagrain near Inverness taking shape. However, in southern Scotland, the English facing brick invasion has not yet been defeated in many Council areas and more work needs to be done to re-establish our national identity. Of course, modernism has its place in the scheme of things, but it will please only a small minority and soon go out of date (again).
Walt Disney
#11 Posted by Walt Disney on 2 Mar 2015 at 16:09 PM
I think the images above represent the developer 'reality' rather than the Duany 'dream'. There's nothing wrong with developing new settlements with a strong design brief and framework. The sad thing is that good urbanism gets lost in chocolate box renderings and arguments over astrigals and skews. Good design should be good design regardless of 'style'. Nearly all of the comments are about the look of houses rather than the streets, connectivity, hierarchy etc.
Freddys finger
#12 Posted by Freddys finger on 3 Mar 2015 at 13:40 PM
Too dense.

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