Plans to create a new city mortuary to replace two ageing facilities have been given the green light.
Aberdeen City Council submitted plans for a brand new three-storey integrated mortuary at Foresterhill in Aberdeen back in October, which have now been the official go-ahead.
The facility is planned to replace the two existing mortuaries in a new purpose-built state-of-the-art building.
The current two sites are at Police Scotland’s Queen Street headquarters, which is due to be demolished next year, and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, which was built in 1935 and is described as being in “poor physical condition.”
The new mortuary will improve privacy, and will be a respectful place for families, leading to an improvement in quality of service, and dignity for the deceased.
It will also support the growth of locally-delivered forensic and educational work, and improve resilience through additional capacity.
It will be built between Elmbank Medical Practice and Central Stores, near to Westburn Road, on the Foresterhill Health Campus, and will provide provision for both the north-east and Northern Isles.
Design statements submitted alongside the application said “the building has been designed to have a tactile, welcoming and caring atmosphere, predominantly arranged within a single storey that responds to a domestic environment characterised by human rather than institutional scale.
“The building has a very clear identity and design encompassing bereavement services for relatives on approach in a single storey, domestic scale proposal with the post mortem function concealed behind. Teaching, learning and offices complete the proposal and are located on level 1, away from the bereavement suite.
“The design has focused on the principles of improving privacy and dignity. By providing different types of spaces and a linear route through the bereavement suite, we believe we have created a design which is simple, private, discreet and respectful which overall, will lead to an improvement in the quality of service.”
There will also be landscaped external courtyard areas to serve the bereavement counselling suites, which are anticipated to include some greenery and will be dealt with sensitively to produce an “air of calm”.
Japanese Zen gardens are being modelled as an inspiration for the areas.
The site will be an integrated multi-purpose mortuary, serving use for NHS Grampian, Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Moray Council, Orkney and Shetland Island Councils, Aberdeen University, the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service and Police Scotland.