The news that Marischal Square has been honoured by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and at the Scottish Property Awards (SPA) represents two more feathers in the cap for a landmark development.
The complex was recognised at the RICS annual awards for Scotland late last month, winning the Regeneration category in the face of competition from two Glasgow projects, and was named Development of the year at the SPA event last week.
The judges spoke of a “vibrant new space” and noted “the significance of the new office space is heightened by its Aberdeen context, where such development has in recent decades been lost to the urban fringe”. In short, Marischal Square has been commended for breathing new life into the heart of Aberdeen.
Walk through the development during the day or in the evening and there’s already a fantastic buzz. It is rewarding to see the hotel, coffee shop, restaurant, ice cream parlour and bar already a hive of activity and those will soon be joined by more eagerly awaited leisure outlets as well as the first office tenants.
Of course the addition of Poised, Andy’s Scott’s magnificent sculpture, brings something completely different and is a draw in itself.
The ambition for Marischal Square was to take an urban space and transform it for the benefit of the city. We can see the impact the project has had and the Broad Street enhancements will complete that transformation.
The development model, with the Council working in partnership to bring the project to fruition, has reaped rewards for Aberdeen – and the recognition from the expert RICS and SPA judges also underlines the way the imagination is being captured from a national perspective.
Interest in the remaining space is strong and the confidence we had in the project from the outset has been born-out by the way in which Marischal Square has gathered momentum.
It already feels like part of the fabric of Aberdeen, bringing economic and social benefits in line with the aspirations of the City Centre Masterplan. It is a great symbol of the regeneration of the city centre and an illustration of the way in which opportunities can be seized and brought to life.
I send my congratulations to everyone who had a part to play in the latest recognition – I’m sure the most recent success won’t be the last time Marischal Square takes centre stage at an awards ceremony.
Cllr Jenny Laing