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Scott's sculpture to lure tourists

Leopard takes top spot in office scheme

Marischal Square Leopard Aberdeen

Pole cat: Councillor Marie Boulton, artist Andy Scott and Stephen Turner, director at Muse Developments, Scotland

Sculptor Andy Scott, best known for creating the Kelpies, has added his signature work to a new office development in Aberdeen.

A 15ft metal leopard will tower over office workers and visitors in the £107 million Marischal Square development in the city centre.

It weighs just over two tons and sits atop a 30ft steel column. 

Muse Developments and Aviva Investors commissioned the leopard sculpture as a centerpiece for the city centre regeneration project, inspired by symbols on Aberdeen City Council’s historic coat of arms (below).   

Mr Scott, a graduate of Glasgow School of Art, works internationally from his studio workshop where he creates prominent public artworks for private, corporate and civic clients. 

Aberdeen Coat of ArmsHe has produced 80 projects across the UK and internationally, but this will be the first time he has delivered an artwork of this scale in the Granite City.

The new work will form a key element of the public sections of the development and will be on display in the enclosed atrium space from the end of next week. 

Mr Scott’s most prominent project to date is the multi-award winning Kelpies, a stunning pair of 30-metre high, 300-ton horse heads, sited in Falkirk which are now regarded as the best-known public artworks in Scotland and have attracted more than two million visitors.

Both the artist and developers believe the leopard has the potential to have a significant impact on the project and Aberdeen’s tourism economy. 

Councillor Marie Boulton said: “At the outset of the Marischal Square project, we identified that public art would play a vital role in attracting both business and visitors to the prestigious new development, so it’s fantastic not only we have this art, but it’s also an amazing sculpture by Andy Scott.

“Andy’s work around Scotland is so well known and so it’s brilliant that his first major work in Aberdeen is here at Marischal Square and will be open to the public.”

Leopards are a symbol of the city, featuring in the coat of arms after legend says they were bestowed as a gift by King James I for underwriting his expenses while he was held captive in England.

Mr Scott’s steel and bronze works appear in New York, Sydney and Chicago, Glasgow, Falkirk, Cumbernauld, Leeds and Belfast. 

He said: “I’ve worked on this sculpture for over a year in the studio and it’s been very demanding. 

“There are literally thousands of steel fragments, all individually welded to create the form of the artwork.  I hope it brings a real presence and sense of drama to the atrium space of Marischal Square.”

Muse Developments’ Director, Scotland, Stephen Turner, said the decision to work with Andy Scott was a significant moment for everyone involved in the Marischal Square project.

“If you look at Andy’s work and history and the massive impact made by the Kelpies in Falkirk, you can see why we are all delighted to work with him on a project which we believe will be huge for the development and the city,” he added.

The Marischal Square development includes two office buildings providing 173,500 sq ft of Grade ‘A’ office space with secure parking, a mixture of granite and glass in the elevations,  seven restaurants and café bars occupying the ground floor space, and a 126-room Residence Inn by Marriott.

All Bar One, Prezzo, Costa Coffee, Marriott International and north-east businesses, Aberdeen Journals and Mackie’s, have already committed to take space. 

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