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Wednesday23 July 2014

Annie Lennox in fresh attack on Aberdeen scheme

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Singer calls garden project a “crap concrete development”

Annie Lennox has made another attack on the Union Terrace Gardens project in Aberdeen which is due to be carried out by US firm Diller Scofodio & Renfro.

Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox

The practice, in a team with local architect Keppie Design, beat Foster & Partners earlier this year to land the £140 million project.

The Eurythmics singer has criticised the plans before but in a post on her Facebook page this week, Aberdeen-born Lennox called it “another dogs dinner of crap concrete development, ravaging the only authentic, historical green space in the city centre”.

A free vote among city councillors on the plans is due to be held in August with many local politicians concerned about its impact on struggling city coffers.

Aberdeen City Gardens

It has already been described as a “vanity project” by the Labour party in its manifesto for last month’s local elections.

Local businessman Ian Wood, an oil magnate, has pledged to hand over £50 million to help pay for the work which he has said he could raise by a further £25 million. But Lennox blasted local councillors who were prepared to take his cash. “The ‘vote yes’ councillors’ knee jerk reaction to the dangling £50 million golden carrot is embarrassingly short sighted.”

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Readers' comments (17)

  • zecks_marquise

    Recognised architectural critic, Annie Lennox, should get back in the studio

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  • Mike Duriez

    Diller Scofodildo and Renfro have revived some of the more flambouyant forms from the rich heritage of Scottish motorway flyover design of the 1960s. Well done in finding a novel source of influence in an architecture world short of (and craving for) novelty! I am not sure the amenity of the proposals will be positive, as it is hard to judge just from the perspective.

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  • Recognised architectural critic, Annie Lennox, should get back in the studio - Says the poster with a robot pic...
    Good on Aberdonian Annie for speaking out - anyone who knows Aberdeen can see the folly of this.

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  • Robert Park

    Everybody is entitled to comment on the architecture that is forced on our cities. Whether you are an architect, a critic, a fishseller a musician or a prince.

    Architects need to realise that they are not designing for themselves and that their profession is not a closed intellectual community.

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  • they paved paradise, and put up a parking lot

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  • McSpaghetti junction?

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  • This debate will become a lot more enjoyable once Liz Diller lashes out at Annie Lennox's music, maybe a symbolic eurithmics CD burning by Lizzy on the Highline on Saint Andrews day

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  • Annie is absolutely right. The project looks like a homage to the LA freeways. Scotland is the last place that needs to ruin their heritage and waste money. This is pure folly, a bridge to nowhere, and meaningless to boot. I wish more musicians would speak up on matters like this. They provide more spiritual leadership than the church these days. Look around at the EU, spend your money very wisely on supporting brilliance and innovation and discovery.

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  • Scott Dale

    There was a shopping mall
    Now it's all covered with flowers
    You've got it, you've got it
    If this is paradise
    I wish I had a lawnmower

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  • Alex Henderson

    I totally agree with Robert Park. I'm not an architect, nor have I ever studied it in a formal capacity. However, I do have a passion for architecture and I have my opinions.

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