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Mix Use Urban Development in Torry

Part 1 Project 2014
Jan Hajek
Robert Gordon University Aberdeen UK
“While Aberdeen continues to thrive commercially there is little sign of successful urban renewal projects that combine architectural quality with socially driven development.”

What is now a problematic area in the periphery of Aberdeen city was once a prospering fishing village that experienced rapid decline of its main economic source.
The proposed building supports the fragile community of Torry by providing it with security police station), essential health services, sheltered housing and retail properties.

This project is an attempt to reinvent a language of the city and trying to re-establish the neoclassical granite architecture typical for Aberdeen. A new urban architecture that matches the importance of city buildings creates a dialog between this problematic area and the rich city. The new building makes a major contribution to the traditional street pattern amongst the tenements of Victoria road with respect and offers Torry the missing public space.

To support the community in Torry, the building provides it with security (small police station, essential health services, sheltered housing and retail properties. One of the challenges was to establish a clear differentiation between the various functions of the building and avoid confusion of its users. The public and private functions are suggested through gestures and architectural language. Double height entrance, various surfaces separating visually connected volumes and simple differentiations on the facade helps the building to express the changing functions of the spaces inside while having a homogenous and unified appearance reflecting the conventional structural grid.

The circulation is carefully planned to create interactions between the occupants and to avoid separation, which often leads to isolation, by providing each floor of the housing with a special space entered straight from the main circulation. The long corridors are broken up into spaces belonging to the flats and providing them with additional storage spaces and views to the harbour and the city of Aberdeen.

The north facing part of the building offers enclosed units with courtyards in between. These spaces can host different events such as celebrations, meetings or could be also used as an extension of the cafe.

Jan Hajek

Tutor(s)
Mr Neil Lamb
2014
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