The development area and local context has been through a series of changes over the centuries and this redevelopment creates an opportunity to reinstate the area as a civic centre, through the creation of lively mixed uses, set within a new public realm that strengthens connections to the surrounding city and reinforces the existing local network of public routes and spaces.
A New Civic Square as a setting for Marischal College:
The opportunity to create a new civic space through the pedestrianisation of Broad Street, offers the chance to provide a piece of public realm, which meets not only the demands of the users of the development but sits within the context of the wider city network of spaces, providing a contrasting and complementary addition to the public realm.
Marischal College is a prominent large granite building in the centre of Aberdeen and considered to be an icon of the 'Granite City'.
With a distinctly urban character, the Square will have a sculptural quality, drawing inspiration from the unique culture and heritage of Aberdeen. Famous for its granite, the square will have a carpet of paving, with sculpted seating and street furniture using the same material. It is intended that this square will form part of the 'Granite Trail' of Aberdeen, celebrating the local stone industry.
Mica glittered from the white stone.
Town of the pure crystal,
I learnt Latin in your sparkling cage,
I loved your brilliant streets.
Places that have been good to us we love.
(By Iain Crichton Smith)
Aberdeen is known as the 'Silver City' due to the large number of buildings constructed in a granite that has a high mica content, causing them to sparkle in the light.
The main concept for the square takes inspiration from this to create a series of 'sparkling' elements, which form a strong rhythm through the space. This will by reinforced by incorporating feature lighting set within the paving, water features and 'bosque' of trees with silver foliage.