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Brisac Gonzalez wins Scottish arts centre comp

Brisac Gonzalez Architects has won a competition to build a £10 million contemporary arts centre of 'international importance' in Aberdeen, Scotland.

The London-based practice has submitted two 'very different schemes for two very different potential sites' on behalf of Aberdeen's Peacock Visual Arts Centre.

The AJ understands that one of the sites being considered currently houses the controversial Grade A-listed Triple Kirks building - Scotland's only example of a single building housing three churches for three congregations.

At the time of its construction in 1843 it was considered a masterpiece of Aberdeen-based architect Archibald Simpson. However, it has been empty for 30 years and described as an 'eyesore' in local press.

The new scheme has already received £3.5 million from the Scottish Arts Council Lottery, plus around £3 million from Aberdeen Council and £2 million from Scottish Enterprise. The Arts Centre's director, Lindsay Gordon, said the outstanding £1.5 million would be raised in-house.

Speaking of the scheme, which is yet to reach outline planning stage, Gordon said: 'It will be not only a new home for us, but also a major centre for contemporary art in Aberdeen and an important and ambitious building of international importance.'

Although the final scheme is yet to be determined, Gordon said he was confident that Brisac Gonzalez's scheme would reach RIBA stage D by September this year.

Gordon said he was excited by the prospect of working with Brisac Gonzalez's Cuban director Edgar Gonzalez - who was in a planning meeting with Aberdeen Council at the time of writing - and cited Gonzalez's £26 million Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg, Sweden as being a factor in the selection of the practice.

by Max Thompson

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