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Peterhead Visual Arts Community

Part 2 Project 2012
Sebana Moynagh
Robert Gordon University | UK
Resilient Towns

Peterhead was initially a small fishing town which grew to the biggest fishing port in the country. It is still dominated by the oil, gas and fishing industry but changes in fishing quotas and the needs of the oil companies have led to major social, cultural and environmental pressures in recent years. Today Peterhead’s biggest problem is the success of its established industries. Although prosperous, its town centre is declining with many empty units and vacant sites. Similarly, the harbour front is often uninhabited and underused.

The edge between sea and town ought to be a thriving focus for the community but currently there are no amenities or facilities in this location. Challenging this issue, I proposed to look at creating an active harbour promenade and water frontage with a new ‘Visual Arts Community’.

Arts and creative activities can play a strong catalytic role in the social and economic revitalisation of small towns. Community-based arts can bring new people and vitality to the town, provide much needed leisure and cultural activities and encourage creative expression. The hope would be that this community facility could provide a catalyst for the reawakening of the harbour as the focus of the town.

The reuse of existing pedestrian routes around the site aims to promote connectivity from the declining town centre at Broad Street to the water. The arrangement of the scheme derived from the idea of building layers. A series of steeply pitched roofed studio and workshop spaces address the exposed harbour edge, each with a ‘shop’ window facing the water. They shelter a triangular courtyard space behind which has a layer of artist-in-residence units to the west edge and a community hall to the south. The courtyard is seen as the heart of the scheme, proposed not only as an outdoor workspace for the creative members and but also as a public place and thoroughfare to encourage interaction.

The scale and Nordic form of the buildings creates a new waterfront architecture, but is also representational of the functions within them. Wrapped in a dark steel skin; the form, use of special northern light and the creation of shelter are key themes in the project. The aspiration of the strong repeating form was to give the buildings a strong identity within their context along the harbour edge.

Sebana Moynagh


Mr Gokay Deveci
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