After winning the Aberdeen City Garden competition in early 2012, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro‘s ‘Granite Web’ design was rejected over the summer in a 22-20 city council vote for being overly expensive. Despite public approval the proposal, which totaled a whopping £140m, was rejected in favor of a collection of more fiscally responsible city projects, such as refurbishing the Aberdeen Art Gallery and redeveloping the site of the St. Nicholas House.
Just recently, the City of Aberdeen announced a £300m city-wide plan of improving roads, schools and cultural buildings, with only £20m allotted for the city center, which will be pedestrianized but not much else. Thus, confirming the “final nail in the coffin“ for DS+R’s ambitious web of lush gardens and cultural landmarks.
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Schemes for redevelopment include not only the gallery and St. Nicholas House but also the Aberdeen Arts Centre, Aberdeen Music Hall, The Lemon Tree and the Cowdray Hall, in addition to a more “modest” upgrade for the city gardens. A local Aberdeen authority explained that “part pedestrianization of Aberdeen’s main shopping street, Union Street, is also proposed as part of the city centre regeneration plans.” However, no architects have been assigned to these projects.
According to the Aberdeen Evening Press, the City Garden Project has become a “totally imaginary situation,” now in the land of “unicorns and fairies” which indicates that the Scottish government is willing to provide funding for just about any project that does not include City Garden.