Aberdeen Union Terrace Garden designs to go on show

Public consensus sought to endorse city council's vision for Union Terrace Garden regeneration.

Six design proposals for a controversial renovation project at Union Terrace Gardens in Aberdeen will be unveiled to the public next month.

The finalists were selected from 55 entries to an international design competition to create a unique open space as part of the council's £140m City Garden Project.

An earlier feasibility study setting out ideas for the space was opposed by 55 per cent of public respondents but plans for the regeneration of the area were backed by the local authority.

The scheme aims to create a safer, more user-friendly central space for residents by raising the Union Terrace Gardens to street level and covering the Denburn dual carriageway and adjacent railway line.

Aberdonian oil tycoon Ian Wood donated £50m towards the cost of the project, while an anonymous donor put up another £5m. The remaining funds are being provided through Aberdeen City Council and the Scottish Government.

Malcolm Reading Consultants chair Malcolm Reading, who led the design competition, said it was vital to get public backing for the project.

"The acid test is to get as many people as possible to see the designs. This must be a consensual project that people support," he added.

"This scheme will reinvigorate that part of the city giving much better connectivity, accessibility, health and wellbeing. It will have immediate and long-term effects for the residents," he maintained.

The designs will go on display on 18 October and a winner will be announced in November. If the plans are approved, the redevelopment work could be completed by 2016.

Design finalists

- Foster & Partners, London

- Diller Scofidio & Renfro, New York with Keppie Design, Glasgow

- Snohetta, Oslo with Gareth Hoskins Architects, Edinburgh

- Gustafson Porter, London with Niall McLaughlin Architects, London

- Mecanoo, Netherlands with Cooper Cromar, Glasgow

- West 8, Netherlands.

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