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.
The 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 (AWPR), with proposals including an uplifted children’s home and community sports centre, an intergenerational community and a co-operative housing development for researchers.
The students were set a brief of exploring developments that would challenge the cul-de-sac housing and retail park format that tend to be built 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.”
Student Ross Robinson developed a children’s home which was suspended in the trees to offer more protection.
“The main architectural concept behind the home is to raise the children off the ground, within the protection of the trees,” he said.
“This is done by using a twig like arrangement of columns to support the roof structure from which the floor of the home is suspended – creating the metaphorical link between the branches cantilevering and hanging from the trees around.
“The home is raised off of the ground to create a new public parkland below the structure, allowing the rest of the community to use and interact with the site as well as the children and potentially reducing the often stigmatic divide between the two.
“The main form of the children’s home centres around a courtyard surrounding an existing cluster of trees and the accommodation is divided into smaller ‘nests’ where the children can retreat for some privacy away from the main communal space.”
His classmate, Mark Watson, focused on creating an appropriate way to house an aging population while keeping them an integral part of the community.
“The initial concept for this arose from the consideration of the life-cycle within communities and the changing needs of residents over the course of their lives,” he said.
“There is a tendency to isolate age-groups, particularly the elderly, from other generations primarily in the realms of socialisation and living. Along with this, retirement can bring a feeling of lost purpose into the lives of many and so continued community contribution or education in later life can counteract this.
“My design proposition arise from the aim of bringing the elderly and the youthful together in both residential and social context, to bring a greater sense of purpose and reduced isolation to their daily lives.”
by Rob Smith
Communications Officer | Design and Technology
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