Feb 052015
Copyright: Newsline Scotland

Steve Harris, Chief Executive of VisitAberdeen

With thanks to Stevie Brown.

VisitAberdeen has responded to news of an unwelcome award for the City.

Aberdeen has been awarded the ‘Plook on the Plinth’ trophy having been named as the winner of the title ‘most dismal town in Scotland’ at the latest of Urban Realm magazine’s annual ‘Carbuncle Awards’.

Referred to on the Urban Realm site as “where architecture goes to die”, Aberdeen was awarded the trophy ahead of towns such as Cumbernauld, East Kilbride and Leven.

Steve Harris, Chief Executive of VisitAberdeen says,

“I am pleased that we have been given this award as anything that draws attention to Aberdeen can only help people realise how preposterous and ignorant its award is.

“Aberdeen is a stunning city with beautiful parks and gardens, a beach that runs for miles right into the city centre and some stunning architecture.

“Marischal College is the second largest granite building in the world and stands comparison with buildings in any city. At the other end of the scale, the stunning, modern Sir Duncan Rice Library has won awards from both the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

“In between there is the fabulous granite architecture created by Archibald Simpson, amongst others.  Not only was he responsible for Marischal College but also many other fine buildings including The Athenaeum, what was The North of Scotland Bank and Bon Accord Terrace.

“Aberdeen also is blessed with many fine merchant houses, a sunken Victorian garden and a theatre designed by Frank Matcham (who also had the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, London Palladium and London Coliseum amongst many others to his name).

“With development proceeding apace in many parts of the city and a new City Centre Regeneration Plan due this summer, the future looks bright.

“Urban Realm, the creator of this award, is Glasgow based and has no presence in Aberdeen. Their circulation isn’t available on their website and their page on “forthcoming issues” is blank.  (http://www.urbanrealm.com/magazine/forthcomingissues) They clearly need all the publicity that they can get!”

VisitAberdeen is a partnership between Aberdeen City Council and the industry including Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels Association and Aberdeen Inspired. For further information contact VisitAberdeen on 01224 900490 or visit www.visitaberdeen.com.

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  7 Responses to “VisitAberdeen Responds To Winning Carbuncle Award”

  1. I agree with them, our City centre is a shambles, the referendum result should never have been ignored, the CGP would have been the perfect start to regenerating our City centre, instead we’re left with a dank hole in the ground that resembles a plowed park.

    Sort it out Aberdeen council, go back to Sir Ian on your knees and apologise for your mistake, let the will of the people happen.

    • I seem to recall you mentioning, some time ago, that “Bill Stephens” is not your real name. Whilst the initials you choose appear to be entirely appropriate, would it be impolite of me to ask if you are Damian Bates?

  2. I am an Aberdeen exile living in Glasgow these last 20 years. I visit Aberdeen regularly and on every visit I usually find an area/building and I find myself saying “they haven’t done that have they?”. But they have.

    The city centre is indeed a disaster IMO. What is Union Square all about, ditto the St Nicholas Centre? As for Union Street, this once interesting thoroughfare / shopping street is now best avoided.

    Steve Harris is right ““Aberdeen is a stunning city with beautiful parks and gardens, a beach that runs for miles right into the city centre and some stunning architecture.” That’s because they city fathers have not yet managed to completely spoil these so far. I suspect its just a matter of time however. The newer developments at the beach are horrid. The sports centre (Transition Extreme Sports) is possibly the most ugly building in the world set in a location where it is impossible to hide it. Very unfortunately it is not alone.

    I love Aberdeen, its a great city, but folks, please ask the city fathers to respect its integrity. Not everything has to be about making a short-term buck.

  3. Felt VisitAberdeen Mannie’s bit was definitely sub-stunning The phrase ‘fine merchant houses’ seems to be borrowed from Edinboro, the ‘sunken Victorian Garden’ – (wherezat?) – is possibly a phrase being used these days by those afraid to say Union Terrace Gardens in case SIW comes along and clobbers them. Archibald Simpson was not responsible for the entire Marischal College as is indicated, only the inner quad, delightful though that is, why can’t the VA Mannie give His Majesty’s Theatre its name in full, why doesn’t he mention OA and the ongoing work at Rubislaw Quarry? Why doesn’t he tell us what the North of Scotland Bank is nowadays? Takes me back to the dire dark days of PR man Jack Nichol (probably not spelt correctly).

  4. Cumbernauld and East Kilbride certainly should certainly qualify but Leven town centre has merit if only for the Carlow Hall. As a former Hamiltonian I cannot comment much on NE buildings except to say that, in common with most of Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen has a rich architectural heritage. Nuff said.

  5. It is clear that Steve Harris and other city officials do not understand why Aberdeen was given this well deserved title. Steve Harris talks about future but he lives in the past. All he can talk about is the historical architecture, clearly something what ACC could not take any prizing for – in fact they can’t even preserve this architecture- it is dirty and crumbling- apart of course from the ACC headquarters. Steve Harris mentioned Aberdeen University library….again, something what was initiated and build by independent institution so ACC can’t get any scores for that neither and even if yes then it is only one modern building which is worth looking at.

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