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Mixed Use Urban Block

Part 1 Project 2011
Alexander Cameron
Robert Gordon University, UK
Analysis of the site’s local urban environment highlighted the mixed-use pattern of occupation that has become integral to the Rosemount Area of Aberdeen City. The site is located on the periphery of the city centre at the historic heart of the Rosemount Area. In addition, the site holds a prominent position along the area’s principal axis of circulation, which also provides a platform for the majority of the area’s commercial and social exchange. Local amenities are plentiful and offer the elderly residents an accessible means by which to maintain social interaction and engage with the local community.

The proposed mixed-use urban block aims to reinforce the established urban usage that the immediate area hosts. At street level is an adaptable collection of commercial premises, and above is a collection of sheltered housing apartments. At basement level is car parking and additional storage space for each apartment, and sufficient space for a communal heating plant. All apartments are accessed via a principal staircase which leads onto a central corridor that serves every apartment on each floor. These communal spaces seek to encourage informal meeting and social acknowledgment between neighbours. Spatial composition, material, and admittance of light through the external voids which penetrate into the depth of the building, are the primary elements by which it is hoped that feeling is roused with the individuals using and living within the proposed building.

Surrounding buildings of comparable prominence demonstrate a carefully refined treatment of the elevation where a junction between the principal street and an adjoining street occurs. This apparent adornment of corner junctions in the immediate area, has informed the conception of the proposed urban block as a building that presents two distinct spatial volumes - the urban block containing the accommodation, and secondly the adjoining u-channel glass element containing the staircase. These two volumes culminate at the principal street corner which the site addresses, and seek to heighten the experience of transition as one passes from the adjacent thoroughfare into the privacy of their apartment.

Alexander Cameron


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