The Aberdeen City Council hosted a two week workshop with SACD and the local architecture department of Robert Gordon University. We learnt about the history of Abereen and the heavy presence of granite that was once a massive local material source. Queen’s Street (our given site) was at the center of the city and bordered by several historical structures such as Marischal College and The Arts Center. The street had very low foot traffic and was mainly used as a vehicular thorough way. There were no seating conditions or moments for public gathering. At the center of the site is a tower that serves as a police station, its structure and façade was a point of severe criticism among the council members.
Our team wanted to create a space where people that would provide a multitude of moments of social pauses and would stimulate night life in a city center with minimal evening activities. We designed a pavilion that reflected the motion of a wave in reference to the proximity of the coast. The pavilion would be a city landmark and night time destination for large events (such a concerts, shows and festivals) while providing a more casual social setting of a local market similar to Armature Works in Tampa. We proposed to remove the police station and after a series of light studies we placed our own tower on the north east point of our sight to allow for our proposed garden spaces to have maximum light exposure. The tower continues the wave like motion of the pavilion and is primarily residential. The top floor is a premium sky bar/ restaurant that provides a unique social setting with views of the city and the coast line. At the southern edge of the site we designed a garden and park of senses, with lavender, fruit trees and a skate park. The harsh weather conditions of Aberdeen influenced our Botanical Cafe as we wanted a year round experience of a park regardless of low temperatures, rain or snow.
The project was named Queen’s Canopy to emphasize the shelter it provides at the center of the city. It is meant to be a destination, a means of attracting tourists and exponentially increasing night life. The council had its doubts about the use of strong colours in a city of grey so we decided on blue tinted glass, subtle yellow stained concrete and lush presence of greenery to define this area as a new and inviting part of the city.