Basic Site Details

Name: Beach Improvement Scheme
Town, district or village: Sea Beach
City or county: Aberdeen
Country: Scotland
Grid ref:
Notes: To increase the amenities and attractiveness of the beach, Aberdeen Town Council invited competitive designs for the erection of a dance hall to accommodate 500, a restaurant to seat 250, a variety entertainment pavilion to hold 750 and a series of blocks of shops with provision for the further extension of the scheme by the erection of a concert hall to hold 1,000 persons. Twenty designs were received.

Keppie believed all the schemes to be over the 50,000 budget, but considered that it should be possible to amend the winning proposals. The council subsequently approved Roberts and Hume 's amended scheme comprising dance hall, The Beach Ballroom, (24,288); restaurant (7,811); variety pavilion - the Gaiety (7,218); eight shops (3,200); roads 200.

Note - the winning design shows the Gaiety variety theate and shops to be separate blocks and not part of the ballroom/restaurant complex. The Gaiety is believed to have been demolished in the 1960's. The fate of the shops is unclear.

Building Type Classification

The building is classified under the following categories:
 ClassificationOriginal classification?Notes
Item 1 of 1Esplanade  

Street Addresses

The following street addresses are associated with this building:
 AddressMain entrance?Notes
Item 1 of 1Esplanade  


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 11926 Scheme acceptedCompetition results announced and amended scheme accepted


Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 4John KeppieArchitect 1926  
Item 2 of 4Thomas RobertsArchitectA1926 Won competition
Item 3 of 4Thomas Roberts and HumeArchitectural practiceA1926 Won competition
Item 4 of 4William HumeArchitectA1926 Won competition


The following individuals or organisations have commissioned work on this building/design:
Item 1 of 1Aberdeen Town Council 

Related Buildings, Structures and Designs

Child Structures

This structure or site has the following component or child structures (click on an item to view details):
 Building NameNotes
Item 1 of 1The Beach BallroomTo increase the amenities and attractiveness of the beach, Aberdeen Town Council invited competitive designs for a beach improvement scheme including the erection of a dance hall to accommodate 500 and a restaurant to seat 250.

It is not absolutely certain that the work done by Gardner was on this building - it may have been a quite separate structure.

Star Ballroom probably by George Keith City Architect, 1961-4; renovated 1970s.

'It was built as part of the 'Beach Improvement
Scheme', at a cost of 50,000, to the winning design in a competition held by Aberdeen Town Council. It replaced an 1882 timber pavilion, perhaps the inspiration for the unusual roof design. The official opening on 23 May 1929 took the form of a masked ball and carnival with costumes ranging from Louis XIV's Court to Sioux Indians and shepherdesses. During World War II, the building was commandeered by the Admiralty, and re-opened at Christmas 1946. The ballroom floor, which floats on 1400 steel springs, was originally made of maple and was replaced in 1955.' (HS)


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Builder30 July 1926  p160
Item 2 of 2Builder17 September 1926  p471 Revised proposals approved