People might develop arenas, conference centres or hotels, but they don’t usually develop all three in one.
Aberdeen was known for its oil, but the council wanted to broaden their economic offering, not only through entertainment but also lead the way in clean energy. The existing conference centre was more than a little wanting, and so they saw an opportunity to reinvent themselves with a bold new venue.
We were appointed as developer for the project in 2012, through a competitive process. Originally, Aberdeen City Council’s brief was to simply create a conference and exhibition centre.
However, we believed there was a better way to realise their ambitions. We came up with the idea to combine an arena for live music and special events with conference facilities and hotels.
Glasgow and Edinburgh had been in the limelight when it came to culture and entertainment. If Aberdeen was going to give them a run for their money, we knew we had to create something truly unforgettable. The design of the buildings evolved as a response to Aberdeen’s undulating surroundings, with the final concept being a series of ‘ripples in the landscape’. The result is a contemporary landmark that brings geometry and the Aberdeenshire landscape together. And there’s more to this building than meets the eye.
Low carbon emissions have been achieved by the recycling of food waste on site to provide heating and cooling power for TECA and exporting any excess energy to the grid.
The original brief morphed from purely a conference centre, into a multi-faceted venue with environmental innovation at its heart. At points during the project, there were over 900 employees on site each day. Contractors from the local area were brought in and thousands of people were involved in seeing the project through from beginning to end. And whilst the venue is now completed, its positive impact on Aberdeen goes on and on.