Architecture students have laid out their ideas for how the land surrounding Aberdeen’s new bypass can best be utilised.
Suggestions were presented by Robert Gordon University (RGU) students on how to develop land at the A93 North Deeside Road intersection with the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route at Milltimber.
Proposals put forward include an elevated children’s home and community sports centre, an intergenerational community centre and a co-operative housing development for researchers.
The students were set a brief of exploring developments that would challenge the cul-de-sac housing and retail park format that tends to be built around bypass intersections.
Student Ross Robinson developed a children’s home, which would be surrounded by trees to offer more protection.
He said: “The main architectural concept behind the home is to raise the children off the ground, within the protection of the trees.
“This is done by using a twig-like arrangement of columns to support the roof structure, from which the floor of the home is suspended – creating the metaphorical link between the branches cantilevering and hanging from the trees around.
“The main form of the children’s home centres around a courtyard surrounding an existing cluster of trees and the accommodation is divided into smaller ‘nests’ where the children can retreat for some privacy away from the main communal space.”
His classmate Mark Watson focused on creating an appropriate way to house an aging population while keeping them included as part of the community.
Mark said: “The initial concept for this arose from the consideration of the life-cycle within communities and the changing needs of residents over the course of their lives.
“There is a tendency to isolate age groups, particularly the elderly, from other generations primarily in the realms of socialisation and living.
“Along with this, retirement can bring a feeling of lost purpose into the lives of many and so continued community contribution or education in later life can counteract this.
“My design proposition arises from the aim of bringing the elderly and the youthful together in both residential and social contexts, to bring a greater sense of purpose and reduced isolation in their daily lives.”
RGU course leader David Vila Domini said the brief was all about bucking convention when it comes to developments surrounding commuter routes.
He said: “The project is a way of exploring what might be possible for this site between Milltimber and the bypass by taking into account a holistic approach to the city, as opposed to the usual piecemeal developments which spring up around bypass routes.
“Each of the students has proposed a development led by functions which are suited to a site on the periphery of a city.
“The benefit of having a more coherent approach to these sorts of locations is that often they connect to the city in a different, more permeable way, rather than just building more housing or retail parks, which simply serves to push more and more cars on to the main arterial roads.”