The Lemon Tree

The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen is a performance venue operated by Aberdeen Performing Arts. Constructed in 1937 for the Young Women's Christian Association and later christened the St Katherines Club. It became "The Lemon Tree" (named after a former pub on the site) in 1992 as a venue for rock music, theatre, and comedy. Many well-known artists such as Emeli Sandé have started their careers there. On the ground floor is "the Lounge" a space mostly used for emerging rock bands. On the first floor is a small studio theatre.

The main strategic change in our proposals is to reverse the plan and create a new public front facing a new potential new public square at the end of Queen Street. Here the undistinguished annex building is to be demolished. In its place will be new three storey foyer,café and bar, kitchen and offices, meeting rooms and a new rehearsal room. This latter space is a glazed room on the first floor designed so that the activities within can be seen from outside.

Within the existing building the upper floor studio will be directly entered from the new foyer, its layout will be reversed to place the stage at its north end and its capacity will be increased to 230 seats by using the volume of the existing roof space. On the ground floor the Lounge will also now be entered from the new foyer but inside our project envisages significant improvements to the space including the removal and reconstruction of the first floor, thereby raising the height of the ceiling and improving all elements of sight lines and the quality of the venue.

The former entrances on West North Street and Shoe Lane will be reserved for stage door and props and the rooms at that end will be adjusted to serve as all backstage accommodation. Beside the new entrance the existing cottage will be partly demolished to create a new external court including seating steps creating an informal amphitheatre for outside performances.

The project is expected to be submitted for planning permission in December 2022.

Other Details

Architects Richard Murphy, Bill Black, Angus Bolland, Karel Kulm
Structural Engineers Narro Associates
Services Engineers RSP
Acoustics RMP
Fire Engineer Jensen Hughes
Quantity Surveyor Morgan Munro
Project Manager Thomson Gray
Client  Aberdeen Performing Arts 
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