[The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen]
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 etc. On the ground floor is "the Lounge", a space mostly used for emerging rock bands. On the first floor is a small studio centre.
Our project envisages significant improvements to the Lounge including removal of columns and reconstruction of the first floor and thereby raising the height of the Lounge soffit. Upstairs, the studio theatre will have more seats and a volume which will extend into the roof space.
The main strategic change is to reverse the plan. The former entrances on West North Street and Shoe Lane are now reserved for stage door and props and the rooms at the at end will be mostly backstage accommodation. The public will enter from the opposite end near Queen Street. Here an undistinguished building is to be demolished and a cottage semi-demolished. In place will be a new foyer, cafe and bar, kitchen and offices, meeting rooms and new public facility of a rehearsal room. This latter facility is a glazed room on the first floor designed so that the activities within can be seen from outside. Within the former cottage will be external seating and also informal seating for external events. The foyer is designed so that all the public facilities, new and existing can be seen on entry.
The project is expected to be submitted for planning permission in December 2022.