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Decade-long Aberdeen council home drought ends

July 26 2016

Decade-long Aberdeen council home drought ends
A decade long wait for new council housing in Aberdeen is at an end with the development of 99 properties on the site of a decommissioned school off Smithfield Drive, together with associated infrastructure and landscaping.

Smithfield Primary is being redeveloped over two phases by Chap Construction and William Lippe Architects with the first 12 semi-detached properties set for delivery by May next year.

Project architect Kirsten Will commented: "As a design team, our solution was to create a new residential development which has open areas for recreation and play, houses which are modern and distinctive externally but reflect the context of the area.

"Most importantly, we are buildings homes with a functional and comfortable internal layout which positively respond to the needs of Aberdeen City Council's clients."

Each home is being delivered under a design and build contract with Chap going onto manage the properties on behalf of Aberdeen City Council.
A new footpath will connect to the existing environment
A new footpath will connect to the existing environment
The contemporary homes will be available in a range of sizes to meet local needs
The contemporary homes will be available in a range of sizes to meet local needs


#1 Posted by SBD on 27 Jul 2016 at 12:28 PM
I’ll leave comment on the aesthetics to others, but this layout fails fundamentally in basic principles of urban design with regards fronts and backs. Timber back garden fences onto public open space?! Fronts of semi-detached properties onto the backs of other semi-detached properties? It is simple stuff that shouldn’t even be a consideration, you just don’t do it. Ok, there are examples of where/how it might work successfully, but those examples will be bespoke solutions with high quality design responses that address concerns of security and overlooking, not a thoughtless racked out scheme of standard house types like this. How does this even pass Secured By Design?! I despair.
The Riddler
#2 Posted by The Riddler on 27 Jul 2016 at 16:31 PM
Well done SBD.
That is the first time I've ever heard non compliance with Secured By Design used to crit an architectural proposal. Are you a Dundee graduate?
Art Vandelay
#3 Posted by Art Vandelay on 27 Jul 2016 at 17:11 PM
You can't 'pass' Secured by Design, #1.

You're right in that the usual 1800mm timber fences are a poor solution, especially when this open spaces appears to be one of the centrepieces of the scheme. That said, the principles of backs onto public spaces isn't necessarily negative, depending on the layout of the units and the treatment of the boundaries. Enhancing passive surveillance and overlooking of these areas can be effective.

I actually don't mind this all that much - the built form appears reasonable and the public spaces are at least large enough to support a variety of treatments. Just ditch the 1800mm close boarded fences and it'll be a good start...
#4 Posted by Terra on 27 Jul 2016 at 22:30 PM
#1 That is what jumped out at me as well. That layout is really quite bad. Design wise? Not bad, decent enough; but the layout really needs rethought. that white render...?
#5 Posted by Annie on 28 Jul 2016 at 17:01 PM
#1 are you having a bad day? There are better ways of critical analysis than trolling a scheme that is likely to be the result of hours of thought, hard work and overtime. Where's the basis for your assertion that this is a "thoughtless racked out scheme"? Has your work been ever been submitted for the world to provide opinion on? Have you ever heard of constructive criticism? Shall I critique your method of critique? I take it you don't live in a glass house with the size of stones you're throwing.

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