Located just North of His Majesty’s Theatre the site of the devolving Denburn Health Centre atop a 1970s brutalist Car Park provides ample opportunity for redevelopment and the generation of an extended cultural hub. The Doric Culture Centre serves as a strategic intervention which creates a new and distinctive urban environment rejuvenating an underperforming area of Aberdeen City Centre and enticing the public to experience North-Eastern culture in its own dedicated realm.
The design’s main concept relies upon a new cultural route; a bridge that spans from His Majesty’s Theatre to the Denburn Car Park and Rosemount Viaduct. This allows the public to experience this area of the city centre uninterrupted by roads and changes in topography. The Car Park itself has been reduced by two bays to allow access from Gilcomston School encouraging learning of Doric culture and creating a larger shared civic space. The form of the Doric Culture Centre evolves from these direct approaches. The three separate buildings consist of a recording studio, an archive/learning space and a theatre with additional offices and art installation space. Each building is orientated to optimise daylight for their respected uses; the archive (primarily used morning to daytime) has a North-East facing glazed facade and roof-light and the theatre (primarily used in the evening) has a South-West facing glazed facade and roof-light. The sun floods the entrances of these buildings at their peak times of use to encourage the public to enter.
The buildings repeat the same language of construction; glulam frames form the primary structural elements with vertical timber cladding wrapping around the scheme perforating as it meets the glazing to create a layered facade. Tying the scheme together is the connecting pergola structure which lines the cultural route and helps to lightly separate the public from the private Denburn Court tower block. A garden space is created for the residents of Denburn Court to enjoy whilst also using the vegetation for privacy between them and the archive.