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Dundee office block up for hotel conversion

September 15 2016

Dundee office block up for hotel conversion
A redundant 1970s Dundee office block is in line for conversion to a hotel/ serviced holiday apartments and rooftop restaurant extension with submission of formal plans by Assurance Developments.

RDA Architects propose to replace the current façade at 5 Whitehall Crescent with a new aluminium cassette cladding system with a feature artificial living wall planted on the current stairwell as part of the change of use.

In a planning statement the architects wrote: “The applicant is looking to modernise the building to give it a new exciting and contemporary look, whilst ensuring that it is respectful to its surroundings.

“Given the prominence of this building to the waterfront redevelopment, the proposal is to create a new architectural statement.

"The (cassette cladding) system consists of a medley of vertical elements to reflect not only contemporary architecture but also the vertical elements of the surrounding buildings. The colour palette for the cladding will be formed of colours that are sympathetic to the surroundings.

“The proposed windows will be setback from the cladding to respect the window reveals in the surrounding buildings. To break up the façade & reflect contemporary architectural design the windows will also consist of differing heights, creating a feature complimentary to the medley of cassettes. The existing brick tile columns will be over clad.”

A sixth floor restaurant will have floor to ceiling glazing with views across the River Tay, City Square and Caird Hall.
A 'medley' of cladding panels will replace existing glazing
A 'medley' of cladding panels will replace existing glazing
A feature living wall will rise the full height of the stair tower
A feature living wall will rise the full height of the stair tower


The Architecture Police
#1 Posted by The Architecture Police on 15 Sep 2016 at 10:23 AM
This a crime against all architecture, even if it is in Dundee

To think that someone has went and studied architecture and thinks that this is firstly acceptable to leave the office and to be presented to a client, and secondly for the client to approve of such tragedy and are willing to finance this abomination. Surely this cannot be approved by Planning.

What even is that green thing?
Dunday Tam
#2 Posted by Dunday Tam on 15 Sep 2016 at 11:47 AM
Keep existing please.
#3 Posted by Basho on 15 Sep 2016 at 12:59 PM
The green thing is a living wall. Problem is if they're not well maintained they soon become a dead wall.

The scheme has an ambition sadly not matched by any sign of ability. For medley read hopeless mish-mash.
#4 Posted by Peter on 15 Sep 2016 at 14:48 PM
Perhaps remarks like 'even if it is in Dundee' do the city no favours? So (unjustly) looked down upon is the place that it's a miracle that it attracts any investment at all.
#5 Posted by Rationalist on 15 Sep 2016 at 17:15 PM
This is absolutely appalling. #1 - sums it up. Having had some experience with planners in Dundee, I would not be shocked if this is viewed favourably, what with its "living wall" and all (see "District 10"). Dundee deserves better!
#6 Posted by Designer on 15 Sep 2016 at 18:15 PM
#1, Your 'even if it is in Dundee' comment is a poor attempt at making your post interesting.
#7 Posted by Terra on 15 Sep 2016 at 20:13 PM
Despite the renders looking like they were made with a tin of beans and a hat; and the "living wall" bit instantly reminding me of the goop on the walls of the mining ship in Dead Space...
It's surely better than what's there now and it won't look as horrifying in real life.
Christopher Dinnis
#8 Posted by Christopher Dinnis on 16 Sep 2016 at 11:04 AM
Some interesting ideas regarding the cladding technique but an absolute horror in the design proposal. Must go back to the drawing board and apply some real design thought as this unacceptable period.
Art Vandelay
#9 Posted by Art Vandelay on 16 Sep 2016 at 13:25 PM
What's an 'artificial' living wall anyway? Bit of a paradox, no?

For what it's worth, the old building is heaps better. Anyone who uses the phrase 'to reflect contemporary design' needs hunted, it's simply shorthand for someone with no decent ideas of their own.
Don Diamante
#10 Posted by Don Diamante on 16 Sep 2016 at 15:36 PM
What an absolute disgrace.


This pile of brown wouldn't look good buried deep in the depths of a 1960s asbestos industrial estate, never mind "the prominence of this building to the waterfront development".

Unfortunately, the top floor looks the best bit but the picture's been cropped.

The current building needs not much more than a bit of TLC and some subtle make-up, not sent to the big gypsy wedding in a transformers costume.

John Mcenroe
#11 Posted by John Mcenroe on 16 Sep 2016 at 15:37 PM
You cannot be serious!
#12 Posted by willothewisp on 17 Sep 2016 at 14:13 PM
Firmitas, utilitas, and venustas. This scheme lacks all three.
Islands of sanity
#13 Posted by Islands of sanity on 17 Sep 2016 at 18:39 PM
Agree strongly that the existing building is far better and arguably is a neutral influence on the townscape. By contrast, the kindest thing you could say about the proposed monstrosity, is that it would have a negative impact!
norman stanley fletcher
#14 Posted by norman stanley fletcher on 19 Sep 2016 at 10:54 AM
you should view the plans before commenting on the façade.. lot more material there! I love the internal bedrooms with a window into the lounge...31sqm flat.
#15 Posted by Shocked&Appalled on 19 Sep 2016 at 17:33 PM
"the proposal is to create a new architectural statement."

But what is the statement? Turn back now? Don't look up? #eyesore
#16 Posted by Cateran on 19 Sep 2016 at 22:27 PM
This is true budget architecture and will be as outdated as a footballer's tat in a few years, much as the current structure is now compared to when it was built. Quality persists and this won't.

For such a prominent site it reminds me of the comments about the best view of Moscow being from the old Soviet Ministry of Information building because that's the only place you couldn't see it.

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