Dundee House, the new office HQ of Dundee City Council, constitutes, according to its architects, Edinburgh based Reiach and Hall: “a rich layering of interwoven narratives that attempt to create a building that is a product of its brief yet is firmly grounded in the City of Dundee.”
The building responds to a very particular site, and aims to retain an historic industrial building while adding an “uncompromising” contemporary structure. Although the architects worked to a demanding operational brief they also at the same time aimed to create “an inspiring place to work” and a building that would provide Dundee’s citizens with a key civic marker.
The Dundee Council Offices forms an amalgamation of the old stone DC Thomson comic printing building with a much larger new administration and public services building. The new building uses the old structure as its front door, and a ground floor gallery, or loggia, now provides an opportunity for Dundee residents and visitors to engage with the building as a civic hub – with spaces for shops, and gathering places for the likes of Christmas recitals, as well as areas to hold art events and installations.
The interior of the new bulding has been designed to help the council adopt modern methods of working across seven storeys of modern office space. The large floor plates are designed to enable cross discipline working between departments, whilst at the same time the external and internal light wells allow departmental organisation to form smaller working groups. Breakout areas also animate and enliven the building at key points.
A great deal of emphasis was placed on material selection and detail, according to the architects. “A public building has to endure, yet it also needs to be attractive and approachable.” The selected materials were chosen to improve with age – from brick that gives a clue to the site’s industrial past, to the finely engineered glazing that looks to the future.
According to architects at Reiach and Hall: It has been a thoroughly imaginative and productive if demanding process that has resulted in a building of great strength and dignity…a building that has presence and gravitas in the townscape without being bombastic or monumental.
Ground Floor Plan
Second Floor Plan
Forth Floor Plan
Sixth Floor Plan