City Garden Project

Ė International Design Competition Exhibition

The Academy, Unit 10, Belmont Street, AB10 1LB Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Monday - Thursday: 08:00 - 19:00
Friday - Saturday: 08:00 - 18:00
Sunday: 12:00 - 17:00

Designs showing how Aberdeenís city centre could be transformed will be unveiled when a public exhibition opens its doors on October 19.

The six finalists of the international design competition for the City Garden Project will show-case their designs in Unit 10 of The Academy on Belmont Street for two weeks until November 2.

After being shortlisted in July, the design teams visited Aberdeen where they were issued with the design brief setting out the principles for the scheme that would ensure it becomes widely acclaimed, enhancing Aberdeenís reputation, be more accessible and more widely used.

The brief stated that the scheme should include gardens, outdoor and indoor space for a variety of activities, and a cultural area.

The competition, which is being organised by Malcolm Reading Associates, has attracted world-wide interest from some of the most elite names in architecture, urban and landscape design in the world. The teams selected by the jury represent a mix of global and home-grown talent and were able to demonstrate a clear understanding of the project and the need to design a unique public space that will provide an attractive, accessible and contemporary addition that also embraces Aberdeenís architectural and cultural heritage. Each of the collaborative teams is led by industry-acclaimed companies who have an impressive global track record, underpinned by a strong Scottish component from across Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Members of the public attending the exhibition will be invited to indicate their preferred design and this will be provided to the jury.

The Jury members are:

  • Chairman - Sir Duncan Rice, former principal of the University of Aberdeen
  • Councillor John Stewart, deputy leader of Aberdeen city Council
  • Sir Ian Wood, Wood Group Family Trust
  • Tom Smith, chairman of ACSEF (Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future)
  • Lavina Massie, former chair of both Aberdeen Civic Forum and the Aberdeen City Alliance
  • Charles Landry, a citiesí guru on urban regeneration
  • Malcolm Reading, an architect and heritage expert
The finalistsí submissions will also be reviewed by a technical panel who will advise the jury. Interviews with the design teams and the jury will be conducted prior to a winner being announced in November.

The winning design and the TIF business case will be presented to Aberdeen City Council in December. The council will then decide if it is to be taken to the planning stage.

The City Garden Project proposes a radical transformation of a key part of central Aberdeen to create a focal point that will provide a safe all-year round garden and civic space, by raising the inaccessible, under-used Union Terrace Gardens to cover the unattractive Denburn dual carriageway and adjacent railway line.

The project was conceived when Sir Ian Wood proposed making a £50 million donation towards the regeneration of Aberdeen City Centre through the transformation of this strategic city centre site.