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Architecture students present ideas for AWPR developments


Architecture students at Robert Gordon University (RGU) have laid out their ideas for how the land surrounding Aberdeen’s new bypass can best be utilised.

Janis Vilcins - public park access viewThe Stage 6 students have presented ideas on how to develop the land around the A93 North Deeside Road at its intersection with the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, with proposals including a vertical distillery, theatre and research institutes.

The students were set a brief of exploring developments that would challenge the cul-de-sac housing and retail park format that pops up around bypass intersections.

Course leader David Vila Domini said: “The project is a way of exploring what might be possible for this site between Milltimber and the bypass by taking into account a holistic approach to the city, as opposed to the usual piecemeal developments which spring up around bypass routes.

“Each of the students has proposed a development led by functions which are suited to a site on the periphery of a city. The benefit of having a more coherent approach to these sorts of locations is that often they connect to the city in a different, more permeable way, rather than just building more housing or retail parks which simply serves to push more and more cars on to the main arterial roads.”

Janis Vilcins structural diagramStudent Janis Vilcins (24) put forward the idea of creating a new vertical distillery in the area, which also has a mixed use space suitable for housing workers and a visitor centre with a hotel.
He said: “It consists of four key functions - distillery, hotel, visitor centre, industrial greenhouses and housing units. The aim is to create a building that would encourage interaction between all these functions as well as interaction with the conditions of city edge.

“From the very beginning the factory building was determined as the centrepoint of the development, it was decided that in this particular location the factory could be a distillery as a response to the cultural heritage of Dee valley and due to the influence and scale that whisky manufacturing can reach in Scotland.

“The project is an investigation of what other activities can be generated by production when located in an appropriate setting and what could be the architectural implications of that.

“It consists of four key functions: distillery, hotel, industrial greenhouses and housing units. The aim is to create a building that would encourage interaction between all these functions as well as interaction with the conditions of city edge.”

Valentin Dolhan - research institute proposalCoursemate Valentin Dolhan (25) has proposed a research institute as part of the project.

He explained: “The intention here is to explore the possibilities of having public, private and research development within close proximity of the new AWPR. The ambitions for the new building lie in future proofing research. By enhancing social interaction, scientists can communicate more efficiently in a more loose and relaxed space.

“One of the key aspects of this design is that it is essential that all specific future activities are met though the creation of a range of spaces including accommodation for visitors and scientists; a variety of working spaces; and public areas such as a gallery space, auditorium and conference rooms.”

The work will go on display at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment as part of the End of Year Show, which runs from June 18 to 25.

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Jenny RushCommunications Officer | Design and Technology