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Architects ask Shell to reassess controversial demolition


A group of 40 academics, architects and other relevant professionals have submitted a letter to Aberdeen City Council urging it and Shell to reconsider a planned demolition of the Tullos campus, which served as Shell’s Aberdeen headquarters from 1973 until recently.

Since moving its headquarters to the Silverfin building on Aberdeen’s Union Street, Shell’s former HQ has been empty. An environmental impact assessment (EIA) concluded that the construction, out-of-date floor plates and age of the buildings preclude them from being reused efficiently and sustainably, leading to Shell making an application to demolish the campus in July.

The letter claims that the EIA does not consider the carbon emissions associated with demolition, however, especially given the vast amounts of concrete and other materials in the structure that will need to be transported, processed and recycled. It points to the Housing Secretary’s recent decision to block the demolition of the flagship M&S store on Oxford Street as a comparison.

Alan Dunlop of Alan Dunlop Architects said:

“In the current climate no building should be considered for demolition until all alternatives are investigated and all ideas for adaptive reuse are exhausted. I know at first hand that the Tullos campus has great potential for redevelopment, which could include new architecture but keeps the original buildings.”

Speaking for Shell UK, which also makes industrial lubricants like grease and gear oil, Vice President Simon Roddy said it was evaluating how the site could be used in future, adding that demolition would free up the site’s potential to contribute positively to Aberdeen.

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