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HES celebrate Aberdeen multis as a towering achievement

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January 20 2021

HES celebrate Aberdeen multis as a towering achievement

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has designated A-listed status to eight Aberdeen tower blocks in recognition of their architectural interest and contribution to post-war history. Gilcomstoun Land, Porthill Court, Seamount Court, Virginia Court, Marischal Court, Thistle Court, Hutcheon Court, and Greig Court all received the agencies highest accolade.

The listing is testament to the decision by Aberdeen City Architects Department to avoid factory-made system-build solutions in favour of a custom approach which has stood the test of time.

Elizabeth McCrone, head of designations at HES, said: “By designating and building these flats the Aberdeen City Architects Department were at the cutting edge of new thinking about town planning and housing. These buildings were very carefully designed and used superior materials to many of the less-successful types of multi-storey housing of this era which have now been demolished."

Miles Glendinning, professor of modern architecture at Edinburgh College of Art, added: "Miles Glendinning, prof of modern architecture added: "I’m a great admirer of the Granite City, and these buildings fit into its fabric, both in material (using granite in their construction) and in how they’ve been built into the historic and modern urban pattern.

“In architectural terms, these buildings stand out because architecturally and socially, they are a continuation of the civic-mindedness and pride of previous generations of great Aberdonians. They are also a social success, which for me is just as important as the architectural interest.”

HES will now conduct energy research on the buildings in partnership with Aberdeen City Council to investigate how the towers can be made as energy efficient as possible.

The decision follows on from the award of a B-listing to a brutalist Edinburgh car park and an A-listing for Leith's infamous Banana Flats

Aberdeen broke ranks with other cities to specify higher design and materials standards
Aberdeen broke ranks with other cities to specify higher design and materials standards
The special interest designation must be taken into account for any future planning applications
The special interest designation must be taken into account for any future planning applications

The towers stand as a testament to the optimism of the era in which they were built
The towers stand as a testament to the optimism of the era in which they were built

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