Public artwork designs chosen for Broad Street

Designs for gateway sculptures marking the new Broad Street public realm space have been drawn up by the city’s creative talent.

Students from North East Scotland College (NESCol) were invited to bring forward ideas for the City Centre Masterplan project. The arts element is part of the approved Broad Street works and is being funded from the Sustrans Scotland’s Community Links programme.

The winners were announced today [November 28, 2017] after judging took place at the College’s city campus on the Gallowgate in Aberdeen.

Under the guidance of lecturers experienced in 3D Design and Public Sculpture, students researched local history for inspiration, developed sketches, produced models, and explored material and construction methods.

In all 28 students from The City Campus and nine from The Fraserburgh Campus submitted proposals for the four pieces, which will be approximately 1.5 metres high.

The winners, all first year HND students studying Art and Design at the Aberdeen campus, were:

  • Margaret Brown – design inspired by the stained glass window of the Mitchell Hall in Marischal College; inscribed with lyrics from The Northern Lights​
  • Calum Lawson – design based on the stag crest of the famous Gordon Highlanders Regiment, which in the past had its garrison/HQ at Castlehill Barracks
  • Sarah Calder – design draws on the story of a fire which broke out in Broad Street in 1741 and encouraged town leaders to favour stone rather than wood for building
  • Catriona Tinsley – design inspired by the Puffin’ Briggie, part of the railway line constructed from 1865-67; bridge removed in 1982 when the Trinity Centre was built

The judges were: Councillor Lesley Dunbar, Vice Convener of Aberdeen City Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee; Susan Betty, NESCol Director of Curriculum; Susan Grant, NESCol Director of Curriculum; Jim Ewen, Manager of The Anatomy Rooms; Peter Roberts, a community representative on the City Centre Masterplan Reference Group; and Cosmo Blake, Sustrans Scotland Project Officer for Mileposts and Artworks.

Councillor Marie Boulton, the Council’s lead on the City Centre Masterplan, said: “Broad Street promises to be a fantastic new public space when it is completed and the students’ designs will further strengthen its identity.

“We will continue to harness the skills and creativity of the wider community as individual City Centre Masterplan projects come forward, and working in partnership with NESCol and others on the Broad Street artwork is perfect of example of what can be achieved.”

Judge Susan Betty said: “Our Art and Design students have done an amazing job in skilfully presenting their highly imaginative ideas for gateway features in Broad Street.

“The designs were selected on the basis that they represented Aberdeen’s diversity and vibrancy. We are all now waiting with bated breath to see the final pieces that should be ready for installation in Spring 2018.”

Designs (top, left to right) from Sarah Calder and Margaret Brown, and (bottom, left to right) from Calum Lawson and Catriona Tinsley. 






















One of the winners, Margaret Brown, from Aberdeen, said: “It is a fantastic project to be involved in. I think people often don’t realise how much Aberdeen has to offer. The new development will appeal to many people and I can’t wait to see all of our creations on display.”

Another winner, Sarah Calder, from Oldmeldrum, said: “I was really shocked when I realised that the judges had chosen my work as one of the four winners because the standard was so high across the board.”

The conceptual drawings will be refined in the months ahead and the College’s engineering students will manufacture the pieces at the Fraserburgh campus.

The £3.2 million Broad Street project, which is due for completion in the New Year, will be open to pedestrians, cycles and buses only. The design includes a water feature, trees and benches, improved lighting, and a raised grass area offering flexible event space in front of Marischal College.

The cost of the Broad Street redevelopment is being covered by the City Centre Masterplan budget, Marischal Square developer Muse, and Sustrans Scotland’s Community Links programme (funded from Transport Scotland’s Sustainable Transport team).

Main photograph shows (left to right): Calum Lawson; Catriona Tinsley; Sarah Calder; Margaret Brown