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Old and new: contemporary structures

We’re fortunate in the UK to have an abundance of historic architecture worthy of preservation.

Gray & Dick has collaborated with Austin Smith:Lord on the multi-million-pound upgrade of Aberdeen Station

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Respecting Historic Spaces
We’re fortunate in the UK to have an abundance of historic architecture worthy of preservation. We’ve found it necessary to adapt some of these incredible buildings to current needs in the modern era. The Getty Conservation Institute believes the best solutions are “design responses that respect traditional architectural forms and hierarchies but are expressed using a contemporary architectural language.” We have worked on incredible restoration projects, installing glass architecture for retail and commercial adaptations.

Aberdeen Station
Gray & Dick has collaborated with Austin Smith:Lord on the multi-million-pound upgrade of Aberdeen Station (known to the locals as Joint Station). First built in 1867 by John Morgan and rebuilt in the early 20th century, this prestigious ‘Silver City’ monument celebrated 150 years standing in 2017.

To upgrade such a monument is a challenge, as contemporary retail requirements mean altering and installing new spaces without detracting from the character of the building or damaging the existing structure. We provided the architectural glass for the new glazed extensions in the retail unit and the First Class lounge. CAD Details writes that “A good project that turns the building into a modern space gives a not to that overall character and adds the features needed for day-to-day operations without changing the underlying feel of the building.” We agree, and by working with glass have achieved this delicate balance between the old world and the new.

Aberdeen Station upgrades     Aberdeen Train Station

Character Through Sensitivity

At Gray & Dick, we have plenty of experience installing architectural glass in historical settings and were delighted to be involved in the Aberdeen Station project. We enlisted Saint-Gobain and Peterlee Glass as our suppliers and are delighted with the result. This £8m redevelopment includes over eight different areas within the station. Each location needed was treated with respect and attention, and we were mindful not to disturb the overall character of the station.

Architectural glass provides a seamless solution as it’s minimalist in appearance, and by “exploring design solutions that use contemporary architectural practices and materials, such as architectural glass, in the service of historic buildings shows a minimalist approach is sometimes the most sensitive solution.” (The Construction Specifier)

The Future
We’re always excited to work on projects like the Aberdeen Station upgrade and have previously loved installing architectural glass in other projects such as Glenkinchie Distillery and the Lindores Abbey Distillery and visitor centre. Bringing historic buildings into the 21st century isn't only necessary; it’s a privilege. By upgrading the structures of the past, we secure our history.

If you have a historic building project and want to explore how architectural glass can enhance your design whilst maintaining the building’s character, we would love to hear from you!

Our services
Gray & Dick is the market leader in designing, supplying, and installing high-end structural glazing. With more than 40 years of experience, we partner with the best brands to deliver a long-lasting product that will transform commercial properties.

To find out more about structural glazing from Gray & Dick, call us on 0141 952 9619 or send us a message via our website contact page.

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