Friday, 20 September 2013
Triple Kirks to be demolished!
another devastating blow had been struck in Aberdeen against the dark forces of conservation and the heritage industry. I was quivering with excitement as I read every word - then read them all again. Presumably they were written by John Glenday, one of the country's greatest architectural critics and a bloodhound with a studded collar when it comes to ferreting out a story.
I've written about the Triple Kirks before when Wee Dr Stewartie Milne first developed the exciting concept of enveloping the existing buildings in elegant offices. Well sadly that fell by the wayside but a company called Dandara has picked it up again and dusted it down. Now Dandara have been around the block for years but their track record is impeccable - just look at the locations! They have been involved in Glasgow Harbour (one of my all time favourite developments), the Isle of Man and Jersey (both tax avoidance and money laundering enclaves), Hemel Hempstead, Manchester and of course Aberdeen. What could be better? They may also have been involved in Ireland so they know a thing or two about developing in difficult circumstances.
When I saw the proposals for Triple Kirks I was in ecstasy. I almost choked on the fly cemetery I had bought from Mabel the wee tea lady and left the office early. I rushed home in a haze and put on my old LP of Kenneth McKellar singing the Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen. I sat in tears for an hour just letting my emotions wash over me. I saw Union Terrace Gardens demolished and replaced by Sir John Halliday's fantastic new proposal, I saw new spit-and-sawdust bars all along Union Street developed by billionaire Allan Henderson - all orchestrated by the imperious Sir Ian Wood, strutting like Darth Vader along Schoolhill. It was fantastic!
It's an absolutely top-notch architectural solution to the development of the site - even the Council is lost for cliches and has had to praise it. Deputy leader Marie Boulton said, 'This is wonderful news. The Triple Kirks was a shining example of some of Aberdeen's finest architecture. The re-development of this historic landmark is something citizens have wanted to see for many years and I am delighted Dandara plan to start work so quickly." So it's in the bag!
My hearty congratulations go out to everyone involved in this amazing project. It gets a gold star and 10 out of 10 in my book!