Sunday, 16 March 2014

Aberdeen sails into battle!

Pilgrim House - a fabulous building
Pilgrim House - a fabulous building
You know, I was on the Urban Realm website on Friday and I could barely contain myself. I was thrilled to read about the fantastic collection of office developments coming on-stream in the next wee while in my favourite city. I was stuck to the edge of my seat until wee Heather brought me in a nice cup of tea and a biscuit. "Try not to get too excited Mr Thompson", she said. I jumped up and was about to give her a hug when I remembered the Auchterness code about sexual harassment that someone had drawn up. Oh well.

Anyway, these dramatic developments will cement Aberdeen's place as the most desirable place to live in Europe - if not the World. John Glenday, probably one of the finest reporters and architectural commentators in the country has compiled a list of eight new developments across the Silver City. I've already reviewed two of these developments before: at Marischal Square and at Triple Kirks but the others are worth many hundreds of words - and indeed many lines of the finest poetry.
USS Constellation fighting French ship Insurgent in 1799 Painting by Rear Admiral John W. Schmidt
USS Constellation fighting French ship Insurgent in 1799 
Painting by Rear Admiral John W. Schmidt

Like great warships of enterprise proudly heading into battle, they recall the great paintings of fighting ships from the 18th Century. Just look at this beauty below - it's called Le Grande at Palmerston Road.
Le Grande - what a name - what a building!
Le Grande - what a name - what a building!

Dr Margie Botchel , Head of Planning and Sustainable Development, said: “Due to its proximity to Union Square and Jury's Inn Hotel, the development would not result in any additional obstruction of existing views of the city centre in approaches by road or rail from the south. It would result in an imposing building at the gateway to the evolving North Dee office area and help set an architectural benchmark for future development in the area." Well there speaks a young lassie with her head screwed on the right way.

The fantastic Silver Fin - the name says it all!
The fantastic Silver Fin - the name says it all!
Burgeoning demand for office space in the Granite City could see total take-up approach the 1m sq/ft mark this year, according to a report published by Knight Frank. Their Aberdeen Office Market Report 2014 predicts that this year will see demand smash the previous record of 883k sq/ft set in 2012 on the back of ongoing investment by the energy industry. This is all tremendous news and therefore I'm very surprised to read all the negative comments on Urban Realm from the likes of Jon, Pablo, Bill, Cadmonkey and Helen-Spit who seem blind to the virtues of this parade of beauties - this veritable flotilla of enterprise battleships readying themselves for combat.

I'm not sure who the architects are for these wonderful behemoths but I'm sure that Halliday Fraser Munro and Keppies will feature somewhere as they are a step above all other architectural practices in Scotland. It would be a disgrace if they were not first on the list - such is their pre-eminence over the competition.

These are great days for Aberdeen and the north east - I hope that you can all join with me in sending out hearty congratulations to all concerned in these wonderful developments which get a gold star and a big collective tick in my little black book.  Of course Aberdeen also won the League Cup today and I saw Wee Dr Stewartie Milne looking very pleased with himself on the TV. He is truly one of the Great Men behind the success of the Silver City and we should all be grateful that there are people like him around to help the less fortunate among us.

Cheerybye for now and have a great week.

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