Marischal College, Aberdeen

This project rescued one of Aberdeen’s finest grade A listed historic buildings and in the process created a modern 14,000m² net open plan headquarters office for the City Council.

The college building, dating from 1840 and 1906, is reputed to be the second largest granite building in the world and the main façade to Broad Street is a masterpiece of light perpendicular gothic tracery.

A full façade retention was installed with all internal fabric, except the richly decorated Senate Room, removed and replaced with new open plan office floor plates, fitting in two extra floors in the process. This involved ground excavation and façade underpinning and new roof top accommodation.

A key design decision of infilling the existing vehicle pend to form an impressive entrance lobby, connected the north and south wings of the building and allowed the grand double height spaces of Reception and Customer Service Centre to be accessed on either side.

The works fully restored the granite façade and the Senate Room interior (now the registrar’s ceremonial function room). The new office interiors exploited the details of the existing building forms by carefully coordinating function with the existing façade.


Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd




March 2011


The Glasgow Institute of Architects Design Commendation
Aberdeen Civic Society Award