Union Terrace Gardens Regeneration

Union Terrace Gardens Regeneration

Union Terrace Gardens, a historic green space in the heart of Aberdeen’s city centre, underwent a significant transformation and rejuvenation process, reopening its gates to the public in December 2022. This restoration was aimed at preserving its historical significance while making it a vibrant, accessible, and safe space for the community. Arup, in collaboration with landscape architects LDA Design and Stallan-Brand, was entrusted with the task of developing a comprehensive regeneration plan, ensuring that the gardens regained their status as a cherished public space.

Union Terrace Gardens faced multiple challenges, primarily concerning poor lighting and accessibility issues. Inadequate lighting rendered parts of the park unsafe, especially during the night. Additionally, outdated pathways and staircases posed difficulties for visitors with reduced mobility, limiting the accessibility of the park.

Arup, along with its partners, addressed these challenges with a multifaceted approach. The project involved the installation of the WILA Puck XT, a cutting-edge lighting solution designed to enhance both safety and aesthetics. The Puck XT’s recessed handrail illumination system was seamlessly integrated into the park’s infrastructure. Its high clarity lens allowed for versatile light distribution, ensuring optimal visibility in all areas. Furthermore, the Puck XT’s adaptability facilitated its integration into both straight and curved handrails, providing a consistent and visually appealing illumination scheme throughout the park.

Features of WILA Puck XT:

– Versatile Illumination: The Puck XT offered different distributions of light, catering to various areas in the gardens.

– Adaptability: Its variable system allowed it to fit into both straight and curved handrails, ensuring uniform illumination across different sections of the park.

– Durability: Constructed from smooth 316 stainless steel and featuring impact-resistant class IK10, the Puck XT was corrosion-resistant and suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.

– Energy Efficiency: With excellent efficacy and control protocols such as DALI or Casambi Bluetooth, the Puck XT ensured energy-efficient illumination.

– Ease of Installation: Its retrofit capability made it easily integrable into existing handrails, minimising installation hassles.

The implementation of the WILA Puck XT played a pivotal role in the gardens’ revitalisation. The enhanced lighting not only improved safety but also accentuated the park’s aesthetic appeal, especially during the evenings. The integration of modern, accessible pathways and staircases, combined with the efficient handrail illumination, made Union Terrace Gardens a welcoming space for visitors of all abilities. These improvements contributed significantly to the gardens’ reconnection with the surrounding public realm, reestablishing its position as a beloved community hub.

The Union Terrace Gardens regeneration project stands as a testament to the successful synergy between historical preservation and modern innovation. The seamless integration of WILA Puck XT not only resolved existing challenges but also added a touch of contemporary elegance to the park. This project not only revitalised a historic landmark but also created a blueprint for future urban regeneration endeavours, emphasising the importance of accessibility, safety, and aesthetic appeal in public spaces.

Landscape Architect:
LDA Design and Stallan-Brand

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