An architect behind plans to reinvent a “brutalist” Aberdeen building has claimed that a proposed nine-storey tower in the city centre is “above anything the city has seen”.
Developer Patrizia, formerly Rockspring, wants to demolish the Aberdeen Indoor Market site and build a new “mixed use” building comprising offices, bars and restaurants.
The building would be copper clad and feature glass and granite elements which could be used for more Nuart installations in future.
Yesterday there was a pre-application meeting at Aberdeen’s townhouse where the case was put to councillors ahead of submitting a formal planning application in January.
Ian Fraser, the director of locality at architects Halliday, Fraser, Munro, gave a lengthy presentation to the committee, during which he claimed the development would bring between 800 and 1,100 people into the city centre every day.
He said: “The model we are looking at here is the very top end of the market. It is above anything we have seen in Aberdeen to date.
“The first three floors are essentially two stories of retail or restaurant space, above that we get into the offices. “
Last month, the developers held a public consultation at the former BHS shop into the plans.
Proposals to develop the former BHS shop front on Union Street will be subject to a separate planning application.
But Hazlehead, Queens Cross and Countesswells councillor John Cooke queried the scheme, due to the high number of vacant office space in the city.
Pam Grant, a development consultant, said: “If you travel along Albyn Place, you will be aware of the number of to let signs.
“That is more grade B office space… people are looking now for modern, open plan offices that allows them to reduce both rent and a reduction in running costs.”
A report to councillors warned: “The building is expected to be around nine storeys tall, and it is therefore important that its visual impact on the surrounding area and from further afield is considered carefully.”
Committee convener Marie Boulton summed up the meeting saying: “I think the consensus is that development in the area would be welcome, but the devil will be in the detail.”