Plans for huge ‘Lantern Tower’ in Aberdeen city centre

An artist's impression of the building
An artist's impression of the building

Plans have been tabled for a huge new “beacon” tower at the heart of Aberdeen – and it could become the north-east’s tallest building.

Patrizia, the owner of the former BHS store unit in Union Street, has unveiled proposals to renovate the unit and demolish Aberdeen Indoor Market so it can build nine linked buildings in its place.

Images show one building would climb 11 storeys into Aberdeen’s skyline.

How the Lantern Tower would look from Guild Street

Known as the Lantern Tower, the top few floors of the building would have a “glass box” design and could be lit up in various colours.

The tower would have a viewing area boasting panoramic views of the city and coast.

Project bosses predict the development would create office space for up to 1,000 workers, plus shops and apartments, with the tower forming a “dramatic beacon” for the city.

And the project is believed to be worth £45 million in investment in the city.

Patrizia director Shaun Hose said: “They will reinvigorate this part of Union Street, Hadden Street and The Green, injecting much-needed diversity and vibrancy that will enhance the quality of life for those living in and visiting the city centre, and deliver a long-term, sustainable solution for the site.”

The first two floors in the copper-coloured tower would bring it level with Union Street.

Project bosses believe it could rise higher than Marischal College, which stands at 80m (262ft), though the exact height of the tower is yet to be finalised.

A report filed to Aberdeen City Council details the scheme’s intention to open up the area between the Market and Union Street at The Green, creating a public space for shops, cafes and public art and performance.

It said: “The inclusion of a tower creates a focal feature and locator for this important civic space.

“Tall buildings can enhance skylines, particularly if their tops are designed with flair.

“A new landmark tower would be appropriate and would complement the surrounding prominent buildings.”

The report added that, in the design, “the frame rises high above the building to create a dramatic beacon, where its heavy steel structure protects a delicate glass box which can be seen around the city, particularly at night”.

The report said most of the buildings would be grey as they would be made of granite.

It added: “The Lantern Tower is picked out in a contrasting warm and striking colour.

“The red colouring of copper is distinctive and is an existing built environment colour combination in Aberdeen.”

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Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce chief executive Russell Borthwick said: “The indoor market is identified as a key project in the city centre masterplan, and redevelopment of the area will be yet another significant step forward in the ongoing transformation and revitalisation of our city.

“Not only will it give a new lease of life to this part of the Merchant Quarter, the mix of retail and leisure will complement the existing offering and help draw people back into the centre.”