TECA : Aberdeen’s New Exhibition and Conference Centre.
TECA is the largest single investment in a UK venue to date and is set to replace Aberdeen’s current exhibition and conference centre. It is currently the second largest construction project in Scotland, spanning 150 acres.
The multi-million pound venue, which is being delivered by Aberdeen City Council and its development partner, Henry Boot Developments (HBD) and is being constructed by Robertson Group, will open this summer, providing a new world-class facility for Scotland close to Aberdeen International Airport and the new city bypass.
The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA) will see the creation of:
- A new exhibition and conference centre – including a flexible subterranean space that can be used to accommodate large exhibitions.
- A 200-bed 4 star hotel adjoining the new exhibition and conference centre.
- Two further hotels – estimated total capacity 300 beds.
- Offices – estimated floor space 60,000 square metres.
- Leisure use – estimated floor space 6,000 square metres.
- Energy Centre – an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) and Combined Cooling Heating and Power (CCHP) facility to sustainably power the new AECC and potentially the wider area.
- Access – vehicular and pedestrian/cycling and public transport.
- Car parking and coach parking.
- Open space, parkland and public realm works (external spaces that are accessible to all).
The new facility is an important part of Aberdeen City Council’s plan to grow the city’s economy. TECA is expected to contribute an additional 4.5 million visitors, £113 million of visitor spend and £63m net GVA to the Scottish economy. It will also create 352 full-time-equivalent permanent positions by year 10 of operations, and over 600 jobs at the peak of the construction period.
The new arena at TECA will have a maximum capacity of 12,500 and, in conjunction with the conference halls and subterranean multipurpose space, will provide an exhibition space far greater than the current AECC. This will allow it to compete nationally and internationally for new events, as well as by broadening the appeal of the north east to a global audience.
The current AECC is constrained in the type and scale of events it can hold and, because of its age it is becoming increasingly challenging for the venue to keep up with a growing demand for large-scale events in Aberdeen.
Aberdeen’s aspiration as a leading world energy city and main economic driver for the UK economy, is to continue to be able to host major business and entertainment events and to attract more of them to the North East. However, for a number of reasons, including the height of and age of the building, the type and size of events which the AECC can accommodate is limited.
Significant investment would be required to maintain the existing facility, and the site presents space restrictions. The proposed new facility will be much larger, on a larger site, and will be better suited to host an annual programme of events similar to that aspired to by other exhibition and conference centres across the UK, Europe and beyond.
In light of the aim to grow Aberdeen’s economy and to bring bigger pinnacle of space for events in the North East, TECA has been designed to provide the city of Aberdeen and visitors with a range of flexible spaces to host a large range of exhibitions, entertainment and sporting events.
The main conference and exhibition building will include a mezzanine link to the hotel and a basement link to the car park.
The eye-catching design includes a complex roof profile and the arena has public access on three sides and has been modelled to ensure good visibility of the stage. There are VIP boxes around the perimeter of the arena on the first floor and fixed seating has been introduced on the second floor.
Approaching from the external public square, through the main façade is the dramatic main entrance into the ground floor concourse, where there are shops, bars and food and beverage units.
The club lounge, which provides corporate entertainment, has been located within the entrance area, creating real interest and sense of arrival when approaching the main doors. A restaurant is located on the first floor, accessed through the central hub feature, providing good connectivity with the main entrance and concourse.
The 33,250 square metre subterranean space below the main public square functions as car park which is able to be converted into additional exhibition space for major events.
The 3 exhibition halls have dividing screens between them so they can be either used as one large hall or smaller. In addition, 28 movable walls were installed by Hufcor. As a global leader in flexible space management, Hufcor was able to demonstrate an unequalled pedigree for this type of project. Together with local project management experience of Cord Contracts, Scottish distributor of Hufcor, Hufcor came up with a bespoke movable partition design solution.
Peter Slaney, Sales Director UK and Ireland, commented: “Manufactured at the plant site in Dessau, Germany and installed with our partner on site we demonstrated our expertise to deliver high quality services of movable partitions.
“We feel very privileged to be part in this state-of-the-art events venue and are delighted with the efforts of our team who have shown great professionalism from concept to completion. We congratulate AECC on this outstanding venue and are proud to contribute to the success of AECC.”
There will be two hotels on the TECA site; the Aloft and a Hilton. The structure of Aloft has been recently completed, and is being built over 5 levels using a steel frame and composite slabs combined with an inverted/standing seam roof and composite/standing seam cladding.
The hotel, located just north of the Hilton Hotel that adjoins TECA, will be the first building in Phase 2 of the AECC masterplan at Bucksburn.
Designed by architects Cooper Cromar, with interiors by Twenty2Degrees, the new Aloft Hotel will be the first of its kind in Scotland and will include a signature WXYZ® bar, Re:mixSM lounge and gym. Designed to appeal to savvy next-gen travellers, the property will also feature contemporary urban-style interiors, tech-forward amenities and live-music programming.
Both the Aloft and Hilton hotel will be managed by the UK’s leading independent hotel management company, RBH.
As a key component in this project’s goal to deliver the most sustainable venue of its type in the UK, an energy centre will be the renewable energy solution for the new exhibition and conference centre, providing it with low carbon renewable energy. The new exhibition and conference centre will have a multi-functional energy centre that uses local renewable resources and advanced technologies to produce an energy eco-system. Local crops and Aberdeen’s farm and food waste will provide and resource efficient energy for the building and potentially the masterplan and wider area. The gas produced from waste will be fed into the combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) plant to provide local heating, cooling and power.
Nick Waight, Managing Director at AECC said: “I am proud to be part of this major project for the North East. TECA is the largest ever single investment in a venue in the UK and reflects the ambition of Aberdeen City Council to diversify the local economy and brings an opportunity to add real value to the city, region and to Scotland as a whole. It boasts an impressive airport location, contemporary design and will be very eco-friendly. Our experienced and dedicated team at the AECC will transfer to the new venue and continue to offer the excellent customer service we are renowned for.”
To find out about the how the TECA project is progressing visit: http://www.aeccevolves.co.uk./
Similarly, to find out about the events being hosted at the new TECA, visit: https://www.teca.co.uk/