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Architecture student sees mirrored pavilion officially launched for Aberdeen festivals


A giant mirrored pavilion designed by a Robert Gordon University (RGU) architecture student – which forms an impressive centrepiece for two city festivals - has officially opened in Aberdeen.

Mirrored pavilion: Lucy Fisher and Prof. Ferdinand von ProndzynskiLocated in the city’s Castlegate, the glittering structure has been created in celebration of the Festival of Architecture 2016 and the Look Again Visual Art and Design Festival. It will act as an information and event hub for the Festival of Architecture, as well as a temporary venue for the Look Inside Design Collective, part of Look Again.

Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Councillor George Adam, declared the pavilion, designed by RGU student Lucy Fisher, open to festival goers on Friday, April 15. Designed on a 5mx7m wooden frame, its outer skin is decorated with thousands of tiny resin squares which will reflect the area’s historic architecture.

Aberdeen’s contribution to the Festival of Architecture 2016 has been organised by the Aberdeen Society of Architects and celebrates the city’s built landscape through numerous events during April. Running from April 28 to May 2, the Look Again festival, is part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 – an initiative delivered by VisitScotland. It is spearheaded by city art consultancy SMART and RGU and includes a diverse programme of exhibitions and events.

The Lord Provost was joined at the opening ceremony by Principal of RGU, Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski; Look Again Festival Director Sally Reaper and President of the Aberdeen Society of Architects Catherine McKeown.

Lucy, who won a competition held by organisers during last year’s Look Again, was also in attendance. She beat off stiff competition from 10 shortlisted students after the entries were placed on public display for visitors to choose their favourite. A student design team comprising of Lucy and fifth-year students Ruxandra Avram and Ross Robinson from RGU’s Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment - along with architects Covell Matthews and contractors Dab Den - worked together to develop the design, research materials and suppliers. 

Mirrored pavilionThe Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Councillor George Adam said: “It is hard to believe that it’s a year since the inaugural Look Again festival, when Robert Gordon University architecture student Lucy Fisher’s design was chosen to become the festival hub for 2016.  From the initial concept on paper to reality, this fantastic structure is the most fitting backdrop for Look Again and our Festival of Architecture.

“Both these festivals are a great opportunity to remind ourselves of the huge talent and impressive surroundings we have here in the north east of Scotland.

“Everyone in the city has a critical role to play in fostering and championing our creative communities as we continue to work towards building a city of culture we can all be proud of.”

Sally Reaper, Look Again Visual Art & Design festival director, said: “A great deal of work has gone into the creation of this amazing structure – from the initial design concept through to the complex build. To see this project come together after months of planning is truly momentous.

“We’re proud that Look Again has been able to give these talented youngsters the opportunity to make their dream design a reality. For most design students working on a live project is a rarity but to be given the chance to realise a project they’ve actually designed themselves is a one off. Lucy, Ruxandra and Ross are a testament to Robert Gordon University and represent a growing body of young designers that are pushing boundaries and challenging perceptions.

“A huge thanks goes out to the many local businesses who have given their time and materials in kind - without this, our mirrored pavilion would have been a pipedream.”

Mirrored pavilion: Sally Reaper, Lucy Fisher and Catherine McKeownCatherine McKeown, President of Aberdeen Society of Architects and director of Aberdeen’s contribution to the Scotland-wide Festival of Architecture 2016 said: “We are very proud to be a part of this bold and ambitious project which showcases the incredible young talent we have in Aberdeen. With its reflective skin, the pavilion has been designed cleverly to catch the attention of every passer-by and reflect the abundance of historical architecture in the Castlegate and surrounding area. The sparkling structure promises to create an energetic, festival vibe – and the events we have lined up for the Festival of Architecture are equally as impressive, with something for everyone.” 

Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal of RGU, added: “The pavilion is a great centrepiece for both Look Again and the Festival of Architecture and represents the strength of creativity and collaboration which has been poured into these events.

“Developing a strong cultural identity for the north-east of Scotland is critical not only for the region’s economic future but also for everyone who lives in communities throughout the city, and these festivals play a key role in helping us to achieve that.”

See a photo gallery of the mirrored pavilion launch

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Jenny RushCommunications Officer | Design and Technology