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Revised Dundee Urban Beach design makes waves

October 3 2019

Revised Dundee Urban Beach design makes waves

Dundee City Council has published its latest plans to continue a programme of waterfront regeneration with plans to create a new public space.

Waterfront Place is being spearheaded by Optimised Environments with Holmes Miller overseeing the design of an active travel hub, to establish a focal point for outdoor activities through provision of a beach, water features and public art.

Inspired by coastal forms the landscape proposals would connect the newly completed Slessor Gardens with the V&A Dundee while serving as a distinct destination on its own merits.

Conceived as a form of urban promenade the scheme will combine a variety of woodland, dune, beach and shoreline features punctuated by a hub building based on a ‘skewed and distorted’ beach hut finished in black brick and grey anodised cladding.

In a concept statement the architects wrote: “The building also echoes the idea of the ‘Bathing Machine’ which was a beach hut that could be wheeled out into the sea to provide discreet changing for their Victorian users. The proposed Active Travel Hub will sit within the landscape design with decorative water features, entering Waterfront Place from the South the Active Travel Hub will sit visually within a water & beach environment that recalls the idea of the ‘Bathing Machine’.”
New clay brick paving will connect these spaces with a ‘playful’ wave pattern marking boundaries.

An active travel hub has been modelled on a Victorian beach hut
An active travel hub has been modelled on a Victorian beach hut
The public space will help join the dots along the waterfront
The public space will help join the dots along the waterfront


#1 Posted by mick on 3 Oct 2019 at 22:11 PM
A stranded beach best described as a flagrant exercise in futility emanating a vision of urban hopelessness.
#2 Posted by Inahuf on 3 Oct 2019 at 22:55 PM
What on earth is an active travel hub? A big bike shed? Surely active travel (walking/cycling) doesn’t need a building as you don’t need to book it or wait for it to come along...?
Never mind the grey brick deep plan box being described as a beach hut! Surely a coastal defence bunker has more common characteristics.
#3 Posted by Designer on 4 Oct 2019 at 09:21 AM
This is very disappointing especially considering that the previous scheme was quite nice . A glorified play park complete with a fenced in sandpit and monsterous bike shed / toilet this as good as it gets DCC ? This is a prime example of a council with no design tsar at the helm not having any coherent strategy on how to design a a classic piece of SLOPP. Mike Galloway liked the urban beach in Toronto so let’s have one of them on the east coast of Scotland and the next guy likes whales so let’s have an interactive one for children. What was always shown as a timber board walk beside the urban beach has now been compromised because the planners decided to put down stone slabs regardless of the intentions of the landscape architects. In short this is a total mess.
Auntie Nairn
#4 Posted by Auntie Nairn on 4 Oct 2019 at 13:29 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong #3, but is a timber boardwalk not normally raised up over the water - why would that be appropriate in this situation? Also, is it not SLOAP?
Traffic Control
#5 Posted by Traffic Control on 4 Oct 2019 at 15:32 PM
Im more concerned by the car going onto the Tay Bridge the wrong way!!
#6 Posted by Designer on 4 Oct 2019 at 16:48 PM
Auntie Nairn, you may be right about the board walk, I personally think it looks like a mistake the way it is currently is drawn and the previous proposal was much more convincing. SLOPP- space left over (from) poor planning.
#7 Posted by J.cole on 20 Oct 2019 at 09:58 AM
This looks utterly horrid with no consideration for the immediate context. A first year arch or landscapes student could have done a better job

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