The life of a city-funded project is a tumultuous one. After winning a design competition early this year and receiving public support to move forward, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro’s “Granite Web” design for the redevelopment of the nineteenth-century Terrace Gardens in Aberdeen, Scotland was recently rejected by the city council in a 22-20 vote. The project promised to bring a revived pulse to the heart of the city centre with a public space that would bring a year-round civic garden onto the “unattractive” Denburn dual carriageway and railway line.
More after the break.
The decision was made following a prediction by Aberdeen Leader of the Labour-led Council, Barney Crockett, that the vote would not likely pass in the project’s favor. According to BDonline, the decision seems to have been a financial one. The Labour party, now the city’s largest party after local elections in May, considers the redevelopment of the City Garden a “vanity project” and a divisive one at that. The result of the public referendum was 41,175 for the preservation of the existing gardens and 45,301 for the City Garden redevelopment.
Instead, the Council promises to regenerate the city centre with a vision closer to one that is positive for everyone. In the meantime, the Council is still going ahead with proposals to refurbish the Aberdeen Art Gallery, redevelop the site of the St Nicholas House and the Upper Denburn area and invest in better pedestrian connectivity throughout the city centre. Unlike the City Garden proposal, which would burden the city financially, the projects that the Council approved are considered more fiscally responsible.