Scottish firm Gareth Hoskins Architects will masterplan American tycoon Donald Trump’s controversial £1 billion golf resort near Aberdeen
The Glasgow-based architect was chosen ahead of 30 ‘world-class’ practices for the detailed masterplan of the 580ha Menie Estate, north of Aberdeen.
Once complete, the Trump International Golf Links development will sport two 18-hole golf courses, 950 holiday homes, 36 golf villas and 500 houses, as well as a 450-room hotel, conference facilities and a new clubhouse.
Originally rejected by Aberdeenshire Council last year, the headline-grabbing project eventually received outline planning permission last month, after it was called in for a lengthy public enquiry by the Scottish government.
However, it has been heavily criticised by environmentalists, who are concerned about damage to sensitive sand dunes.
‘It will be a challenging project,’ said practice founder Gareth Hoskins, ‘but we are not ones to shy away from challenges.’
Hoskins replaces American practice Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo as masterplanner for the development, and has been told he does not have to adhere to the Disneyland-style designs initially proposed.
He said: ‘We’ve been told the original sketch designs were all very indicative – so effectively we will be starting again.
‘We had some very frank discussions about that and showed them how we would approach the project, working with the landscape and creating a sustainable community.’
Donald Trump’s right-hand man George Sorial said they had always wanted to use a local architect and added that he was impressed by how Hoskins ‘really grasped’ the ‘vision’.
Sorial said: ‘We wanted to create a product that complemented the land and there is no better person to do it than [Hoskins] – someone who has real local knowledge.’
However, Hoskins’ appointment has done nothing to appease the RSPB, which remains vehemently opposed to the scheme.
A spokesman for the society said: ‘It wouldn’t make a difference who Trump asked to do the buildings. The fact remains the golf course will destroy a large part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
‘At the enquiry, all sorts of promises and assurance about the environmental standards were made and we intend to make sure they are all adhered to.’
Small local practice Acanthus Architects DF will design the project’s new clubhouse, while executive architect SMC Jenkins & Marr is to play no further part.