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Dundee Waterfront Plot 2 SITE ANALYSIS AND MASTERPLAN This is the masterplan for plot 2 within the new Dundee Waterfront Development. The 0.4 ha site is in a prominent location within the waterfront and the proposal will add to the vitality of the area, increasing the leisure uses available in the city centre as well as adding muchneeded high-quality office space by making full use of available area on the restricted site. The importance of public space, permeability and other urban design features have also been incorporated within the proposed masterplan. Dundee Waterfront Vision

“To transform the City

of Dundee into a world leading waterfront destination for visitors and businesses through the enhancement of its physical, economic and cultural assets” (Dundee City Council, 2013)

Site Analysis, Limitations & Responses ARCHITECTURAL & FORM ANALYSIS



View1 is taken from the eastern end of plot 2 and demonstrates the height of the buildings in relation to public road and footpath space. The ratio varies between 1:1 and 1:1.5 which provides an enclosed feeling without becoming too claustrophobic.

This case study is located in central Edinburgh, in a prominent location north-east of Princess St and Waverley train station. The 1.1 ha mixed-use development comprises of two large buildings separated by a connecting public space. The delicate and appropriate use of scale over the entirety of the development was met with critical acclaim and the designers of the project, Allan Murray Architects, have won awards for project.

There are also a variety of architectural styles in the area. For example, the former Tay Hotel (1) built in 1899 is a key landmark and has a symmetrical form to its front façade (as indicated by the blue dotted line). Its faithful restoration has to be taken into consideration, and the inclusion of a contemporary structure on plot 2 will have to be faithful, as well as a landmark regarding its juxtaposition with design features of the building. An opportunity exists here to create something similar to that which was achieved with the Omni Centre, Edinburgh.



The development was completed in 2002 and is built to a contemporary standard as shown below. Omni Centre includes a large cinema, luxury hotel and a variety of units including a gym, restaurant and a public house. Carlton Square is a grade-A office complex which also has a staggered grass terrace for each of the upper floors. The central connecting square is a well-used public space with a building/ground ratio of 1:1 which therefore provides the quality of feeling enclosed. Design qualities from this case study have been taken forward, as well as the uses and appreciating its location. The site is roughly twice the size of Dundee Waterfront plot 2 which would, in turn, require a much more efficient use of space and consideration of sunlight.


The map (right) shows the aerial view of the site from a south-west perspective. Here, there is a clear indication of the form of buildings (varying from 3 to 7 storeys) and their architectural styles. The office buildings to the south are fairly new and are of a contemporary style, as is the bingo hall to the north.


Case Study






Office space and retail are the prime uses around the area, although there is a gap in the market for highgrade offices. Leisure use is very sparse with only a bingo hall and the cultural quarter to the west which consists of the REP theatre and the DCA. In terms of retail, the retail core is to the north-east and consists of the Overgate Shopping Centre and various surrounding streets.

The red lines show the current primary vehicular traffic routes around the area, with the green dots showing the main pedestrian routes to and from the city centre and the train station/waterfront area. There is a clear indication that the eastern-edge of plot 2 has a very high footfall of pedestrian traffic and this area should be a design focus.

The 0.4ha site is located to the south of Dundee City Centre (150m). It is the first site to become available for immediate development within the new waterfront development. Car parking is available in the Greenmarket area (100m) and the train station lies directly opposite the site to the south.

City Centre



New Waterfront Development

RESPONSES Nethergate

Greenmarket 1



Dundee Local Development Plan 2005 Policy 16 - Central Waterfront It is required that any development within the waterfront area conforms with the Waterfront Development Masterplan 2001-2031. With regards to the site, plot 2 is on the north-western edge of the waterfront development. Policy 55: Urban Design This requires emphasis on design quality using various techniques. This policy is further expanded (in terms of the site) in the design framework for the central waterfront. As the site is within the waterfront development, consideration will be required with regards to the design by conforming to the specific guidelines set out in the framework. Policy 56: Public Art

Developments of over £1M require at least 1% of the construction costs to be put towards public art to promote culture and improve the quality of the built environment. The scale of any development on plot 2 will almost certainly surpass £1M and as such, public art will need to be incorporated into the development.

Station & Riverside

ANCHOR CENTRE - MIXED-USE LEISURE DEVELOPMENT The Anchor Centre will provide approximately 96,900ft² of leisure space across six floors which will mainly comprise of a cinema and several ground floor units with outside seating areas available on the ground floor. Floor seven includes a 4800ft² “balcony” which offers uninterupted views along Nothern Bulevard and towards the V&A and Discovery. The most iconic desing features is the sweeping roof which reaches high above the front plaza. A grass “meadow” along with solar panels is also incorpoated into the roof structure towards the back where it is only slightly sloping. It is proposed that services will be accommodated within a room by the access door on Yemen Shore, next to the substation access point.

Policy 81 & 82 – Pedestrians & Cyclists Both policies refer to the ease of movement and to promote them to help cut the use of private motoring. The eastern part of plot 2 is extremely important with regards to the connection from the city centre to the rail station and proposed V&A- this should be taken into account within the development.

ANCHOR SQUARE & PUBLIC SPACE Public space plays a fundamental role in this development. The central square known as Anchor Square is divided over two levels by a curved and low-lying stair set and ramp to the south. Despite the p h y s i c a l constraints of the site, Anchor Square is very open and allows a ratio of between 1:1.5 and 1:3, a sense of enclosure that utilises the sun to provide sunlight throughout the entire day. The image to the right shows all outdoor “walkable” areas on the site, shaded in orange. The Anchor fountain forms the central part of the square and forms part of the public art policy requirement.


The image to the right shows the route to and from the V&A and city centre, intersecting plot 2 and this has been accommodated within the design of the public space.

Proposed Dundee Local Development Plan 2013 Policy 5: Tourism and Leisure Developments This policy is extremely important given the area the site is located. Proposals for major leisure developments are directed towards the city centre first. As there is a documented need for this set out in current policy, the demand is therefore legible.

FLOOR SPACE: LEISURE (RED) 208,000ft² spread across 6 floors

Policy 6: Visitor Accommodation


Provision of a range of high quality accommodation within the city centre area is supported. This is another alternative use for plot 2 that there is some demand for.

Lack of public space Poor sense of permeability Restriction to one use Contrary to design framework

Policy 7: High Quality Design This is a fairly significant policy and in conjunction with the Dundee Central Waterfront Design Framework, ensures that high quality design, respecting the surroundings, is secured. This policy also includes a condition that for developments that have construction costs over £1M provide 1% of the cost for art projects onsite or in the immediate vicinity which would almost certainly be required for plot 2.


It should be noted that the development in its entirety complies fully with the “Urban Design Framework” for the Central Waterfront, April 2012. This includes floor-ceiling heights, number of floors, use of contrasting colour with the River Tay, contemporary styles and use of glass for the reflective qualities that it provides.


Policy 29: Low and Zero Carbon Technology in New Development Proposals for all new buildings will have to demonstrate that at least 10% of the carbon emissions reduction standard set by the Scottish Buildings Standards is met through the use of appropriate technologies. Incorporating such means in a development on plot 2 would conform to this policy. Policy 53: Active Travel and Policy 54: Accessibility of New Developments This policy requires that new developments are designed in order to minimise the use of private motoring and promote the use of active travel through provision of cycle parking, well design pedestrian routes and easy access from public transport means. Making full use of public transportation connections around the site as well as utilising the footfall expected to the east of plot 2 will be required.

Tay Square comprises of 37,700ft² of grade A office space split between five spacious floors, which also includes a 2700ft² rooftop garden and plaza. To the western edge of the site is the 25m tall staircase, with a contemporary design acting as a landmark, utilising the narrow tapering of the site. The front of the building looking onto the central square is designed with coloured cladding, to assist in the contrast of the River Tay and to act as a juxtaposition between the surrounding old and new. Access into Tay Square is from the Anchor Square public space to the east and also from the tower staircase to the west. It is proposed that services will accommodated within a separate room next to this access door on the Yemen Shore side.

FLOOR SPACE: LEISURE (GREEN) 76,700ft² spread across 6 floors FLOOR SPACE: OFFICE (BLUE) 37,600ft² spread across 7 floors FLOOR SPACE: HOTEL (RED) 43,000ft² spread across 6 floors

Claustrophobic public space Inefficient floor space Poor sunlight into Yemen Shore Office block hidden from view


NOV 2013


Matthew Jackson  
Matthew Jackson  

Dundee Civic Award 2014