My Documenting Britain project is a personal story of Aberdeen, my subjective impressions of this Northern city bounded by two river mouths, the North Sea and green stretches of land. Some call it the Granite City, others say it is silver, though it is also known as the Energy Capital of Europe. The label I think is the most accurate is the Grey City.
High Rise Aberdeen
“Only one large municipality in the UK—the City of Aberdeen—managed to bypass completely the political and professional rejection of high flats, and carry on building them right until the very end of public housebuilding on any significant scale in Britain”*
“We are not going to build tenements, but something we will be proud of, and something I hope that may win another Saltire Prize…” - Baillie Frank Magee, the city’s Housing convenor, 1950**
“The inner city blocks at Chapel Street (…) were built on the site of slum clearances, and transformed their neighbourhoods. Although old granite buildings which were retained where possible, the towers dominate. Aberdeen was slow to begin its programme of high rise construction – and it was the last city in Scotland to build a high-rise council block, in 1985.”**
Public housing project started in 1961
* From Miles Glendinning and Stefan Muthesius (1994). Tower Block; Modern Public Housing in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Hong Kong: Yale University Press. p322.
** Urban Realm