Glittering pavilion set to open for Aberdeen festivals launch

A Robert Gordon University (RGU) architecture student will see her design for a temporary pavilion built on Aberdeen’s Castlegate as the centrepiece of two cultural festivals taking place in April.

Look Again Mirrored Pavilion 2016Lucy Fisher and a group of final year students are behind the design of the impressive mirrored structure, which has been created in celebration of this year’s Look Again Visual Art and Design Festival and the Festival of Architecture 2016.

Aberdeen’s contribution to the Festival of Architecture 2016 has been organised by the Aberdeen Society of Architects and celebrates the design and creativity of the city’s built landscape through numerous events during the month of April. Running from 28 April to 2 May, the Look Again festival is also part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 – an initiative delivered by VisitScotland - and includes exhibitions and events across the city.

This 5m x 7m mirrored pavilion will reflect the architectural heritage of the Castlegate through a simple yet beautiful sculptural form. Lucy, who is currently in the third year of her course, designed the concept after winning a competition held by organisers during last year’s Look Again festival. She beat off stiff competition from ten shortlisted students after the designs were placed on public display for visitors to choose their favourite.

Together with the group of students who helped to refine the design, the 20-year-old will be watching closely when the build begins at the end of this month, with Covell Matthews on board as principle architect and Dab Den as principle contractor. It is expected to take less than a week to complete. Once in place the pavilion – which will hold around 30 people - will be manned daily and act as an information point throughout the Festival of Architecture, a venue for workshops and a temporary venue for the Look Again festival housing the Look Inside design pop-up showcase.

Catherine McKeown, president of Aberdeen Society of Architects and director of Aberdeen’s Festival of Architecture 2016, said: “We can’t wait to see this exciting design come to life in the city’s Castlegate – and there couldn’t be a more fitting location than this spot which is full of history and inspiring architecture, such as the Mercat Cross built by local architect John Montgomery and The Salvation Army Citadel.

“The month-long Festival of Architecture will give visitors and residents a chance to discover hidden treasures and be reminded of their favourite city centre architecture. As well as a series of lectures by leading architects, a model city event and walk and talk events, there will be a fantastic programme of films being run at the Belmont Cinema.” 

Sally Reaper, Look Again Visual Art & Design festival director, said: “The mirrored pavilion promises to catch the attention of every passer by and create a real festival buzz around the Castlegate. We were delighted to continue working with Covell Matthews Architects who originally sponsored this student design competition to realise this bold and ambitious project.  It also couldn’t have been possible without the generous support of several local businesses, which have provided their time and materials free of charge to the project.

“This year’s event really shouts out the message that Aberdeen is a thriving, cultural place to live. Our aim is to get everyone looking again – and talking about - our superb art venues, established artists and emerging local talent.”

Head of the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment at RGU, Professor David McClean, added: “Lucy’s design will provide a wonderful centrepiece to the Look Again and Architecture Festivals and everyone at the university is very much looking forward to seeing it once it has been constructed.

“The design competition last year was a tremendous opportunity for our students to show off their skills and vision, and it is really exciting to see architecture being celebrated across the city as part of these events. The School is contributing to both festivals through a number of projects, and the participation of our students, working with staff and other professionals, has been vital to this work.”

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Jenny RushCommunications Officer | Design and Technology