City Garden could create 6,500 new jobs

The Aberdeen City Garden Project could create 6,500 new jobs and inject £122 million annually into the local economy according to a new report by PwC.

Publication of this report, follows the announcement that the Killer Scofidio and Renfro/Keppie Design proposal had been selected for the prominent city centre site.

Granite Web

The proposed design, known as the Granite Web, is about as far away from a concrete square as it is possible to get. Very deliberately the design is multi-level to “celebrate the three-dimensional aspects of Aberdeen, reinterpreting the topography of the Denburn Valley…”.

With walkways and civic spaces to linger and enjoy the granite architecture all round, the design includes sunken garden areas and even an outdoor amphitheatre below the intersection of the walkways.

As such the plan almost doubles the public open space in the heart of the granite city by covering over the unsightly railway and dual carriageway.

While the walkways provide improved surface connections across the chasm of the Denburn Valley, below the surface, even more valuable pedestrian connections are planned.

Shoppers at Union Square and visitors arriving at Aberdeen station will be able to take an enclosed walkway direct from the Guild Street complex under Union Street and straight into the dramatic new green heart for the Granite City.

Similarly I understand there is potential to incorporate links from the new arts centre and cultural space under Rosemount Viaduct and directly into His Majesty’s Theatre and Aberdeen Art Gallery.

There seems little doubt that the futuristic design would really put Aberdeen on the map for future visitors in a similar way that the ambitious creation of Union Street and the Granite City did in the 19th century (as witnessed by the George Washington Wilson photograph showing a shop at the Union Street frontage of St Nicholas Street proudly proclaiming “Granite City Souvenirs”).

The proposal will now go to a public referendum which closes on March 1.
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