Architecture students design square deal for North-east

Hailey Bell and Ultan FoleyPlans to rejuvenate a square in the centre of Banchory and to open up access to Golden Square in Aberdeen, will be among a host of other projects and designs on display at this year’s Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment End of Year Show 2010.

The Show, which launches at 6pm on Tuesday 22 June with a private showing and prize-giving ceremony, will enable members of the public to view a range of final year undergraduate projects, spanning architecture, architectural technology, construction design and management and surveying.

Final year Master of Architecture student, Hailey Bell (22), will be exhibiting her final year project entitled ‘Crossing Paths’. Hailey, of Dunrossie Terrace, Montrose, explains the background to this, saying, “My project attempts to create a ‘permeable’ façade along Union Street which would allow the richness and diversity in the layers of our city's townscape to be celebrated once more.”

Hailey’s proposal centres around the area on Union St, adjacent to the Music Hall, where she would like to see a new pedestrian link created through to Golden Square. Instead of what is ostensibly a car-park, Hailey proposes to, “release the inner courtyard from a sea of metal and entice passers-by off the main thoroughfare and into a place of respite.”

The former pupil of Montrose Academy achieved a first class Honours degree in Architecture last year, and is hoping to graduate with a Master of Architecture next month. She has already begun working for Aberdeen-based architectural practice, Eightyseven Architecture (

Fellow Master of Architecture student, Ultan Foley (24), has been part of a class project aimed at providing reasons for people to return to the town-centre of Banchory. Ultan, who is from Co. Kerry in Ireland, and his classmates have worked closely with Banchory District Initiative throughout the past year, with the objective of providing realistic proposals to be presented to the local council.

The project involves the regeneration of an existing town square in Banchory, the Scott Skinner Square. The regenerated square would enhance connectivity throughout the town, and provide a diverse mix of functions to attract a diverse audience.

As Ultan describes, “It would provide three times more retail space than the existing square, as well as a new library and tourist office, restaurants and bars, an art gallery, studio and workshops. The wide mix of functions will increase the daily lifespan of the square and provide the town centre with the confidence it deserves.”

Ultan and classmates have presented their sketches and designs in a public exhibition held in Banchory town centre, and also in a presentation to the Banchory Development Initiative (BDI) during their annual general meeting.  Both presentations were met with wide interest, and the BDI have now conveyed the student’s work to the council for consideration in the official local plan being released later this year.     

Ultan’s final year dissertation, ‘Urbanism and Movement’, which received an A grade, will also be on display. The dissertation is an investigation into the future of movement in our cities and whether or not we have to re-invent the ways in which we move, work and live.

The former pupil of Rockwell College in Co. Tipperary is set to begin working with Dublin-based architects, De Blacam and Meagher, in August.

Head of School, Dr David McClean comments, ‘The End of Year Show at the Scott Sutherland School is a celebration of the commitment, passion, ingenuity, and sheer effort of our students and staff. Spanning a broad range of disciplines relating to design and construction, many of the projects, such as those presented above, relate to ‘live’ situations and contexts within the region.

It is vital that a school such as ours engages with its local communities and constituencies, as well as looking further afield to explore areas relating to the global nature of our contemporary professions. Consequently, we believe there is much on display that will be of interest to the public, and welcome all those interested to the Show’

Taking place at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment on Garthdee Road, Aberdeen, the End of Year Show will be open to the public from 23 June - 2 July (9am – 5pm everyday), and entry is free. For more information, visit:

Pauline Smith
Communications Officer
Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262389