Pre-Application Design Statements

The basic composition of the building arises from a set of forms, stacked and rotated in response to the dynamics of the site. On the corner of Powis Place the building has significant bulk and presence but diminishes in scale toward Canal Road the rear, working with the rising topography to meet the more domestic scale of areas to the north across the railway (former canal) bridge.

The external character is one of simple forms that rely on good proportions, crisp detailing and the tone and texture of visually animated materials. Subtle shifts in the coursing and pointing of the brick will pick out its different volumes of the building and deeply recessed windows will add to its sculptured feel.

Currently proposed materials include Nevado Geel facing brick; galvanised steel cills and balustrades; generous fenestration with a dark anodised aluminium finish; granite slabbed finish to the urban realm, courtyard and the base courses at the main entrance.

Internally the building functions are organised with the following key objectives:

  • To distance student rooms from the main traffic thoroughfare of Powis Place, offering as much light and privacy as possible.
  • To animate the street frontage and create a lively public presence by locating the main communal activities such as reception areas, common rooms and cafe streetside at ground floor.
  • To create a landscaped courtyard offering secure and sheltered amenity space at the heart of the building, away from the busy surrounding streets. There is a degree of permeability through this courtyard, with both a main entrance from Powis Place and a secondary entrance from Canal Road offering glimpses of the interior. All the main circulation stairs are accessed from the courtyard, ensuring that the space is lively and well used.
  • We see this building playing an important visual and functional role in the regeneration of this small section of Aberdeen – one which presently falls between more established residential areas to east and west and between the suburban and city centre areas to north and south. It begins to consolidate a fragmented urban fabric and initiates more intensive patterns of use and higher architectural quality in a run down area.