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LDA Design to overhaul Aberdeen’s Union Terrace Gardens

September 12 2016

LDA Design to overhaul Aberdeen’s Union Terrace Gardens
LDA Design have been selected by Aberdeen City Council to draft detailed design proposals for Union Terrace Gardens, a key plank in its city centre masterplan, after seeing off competition from a dozen competing design firms.

The team have been tasked with the topography of the gardens to enhance the central green space through provision of lifts, ramps and steps whilst also introducing new amenity and activity spaces to encourage year-round use.

Part of this will see a series of historic arches brought back to life as new retail, café and studio space, as visualised in this indicative image and to that end LDA will undertake a series of consultations from the end of the year with an expectation that detailed plans will be submitted early in 2017.

Project director Kirstin Taylor commented: “They (Union Terrace Gardens) can be revitalised in a way that completely respects and enhances their 19th century heritage. Traditional park enjoyment can be balanced alongside new ideas and uses.”

The Gardens have a chequered history following the tortured demise of a more invasive revamp helmed by Diller Scofidio & Renfro and Keppie.


#1 Posted by Basho on 12 Sep 2016 at 20:12 PM
Oh sweet Mary Joseph! Another design proposal for Union Terrace Gardens? It took less time to finish The Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
#2 Posted by Terra on 12 Sep 2016 at 22:06 PM
Sounds good. Just don't fill it in to build a piazza like that eccentric Aberdeen tycoon wanted to do a few years back.
It's a beautiful space. Like a mini Princes St. gardens.
#3 Posted by David on 13 Sep 2016 at 09:13 AM
Good luck with that poisoned chalice!

Would still have preferred to see the Brisac Gonzalez scheme resurrected though...
#4 Posted by Student on 13 Sep 2016 at 13:36 PM
@ #2
Have you used it/seen it at all used like a mini Princes Street Gardens? On the occasional nice day, it gets at best 6 hours of usable sun. The remainder of the time, throughout the year, the height of the trees and awkward, sunken, narrow layout of the space really restrict it to no more than a shadowy, cold, neglected space.

I'm eagerly looking forward to see the outcome of this. If they can regenerate it successfully, improve accessibility and increase its attractiveness of use, it has massive potential to create a new public heart to the city centre.
Robin McIntosh
#5 Posted by Robin McIntosh on 13 Sep 2016 at 21:35 PM
A beautiful and magical space at any time of the year. The wind disappears as you descend into the heart of UTG, some areas are intensely sunny and others dappled and leafy. This new design team will hopefully recognise the unique qualities of these Gardens and enhance them, revisiting the reasons they were so popular in the past and breathing new aspects into them for the future.

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