I have welcomed feedback I have received from the City Council following my raising several issues about Dundee House, the new council headquarters in North Lindsay Street.
Although there are many positives about the building, the feedback I have had from constituents is that the ‘public area’ appears sparse, cold and uninviting to a member of the public visiting the council HQ.
The reception staff and “floor walking” staff are very friendly and do a very good job at helping to assist the public but on arrival, the reception area itself isn’t that obvious and the large, quite Spartan, entrance area is really not inviting to the public. This could be fairly easily resolved if someone with a bit of imagination got to work to improve the reception area décor to make it more ‘warm’ and welcoming.
I have also pointed out that the windows (particularly at South Ward Road/Argyllgait) look very dirty indeed and that a window cleaning contract was badly needed. I have also asked what is happening with the disused buildings to the south of Dundee House, saying these look very poor next to the council HQ, particularly the now disused former Chinese Restaurant but also the tenement previously used by the Dundee House contractor.
I recently raised the concerns with the City Council’s Chief Executive David Dorward. I have now had comprehensive feedback from the City Council’s Head of Property as follows :
“I can advise that it is intended to replace the existing reception doors with revolving doors in Autumn of this year. This will eliminate drafts and reduce heat loss in the reception area.
There is existing suspended signage and a 'floor walker' within the reception area to help guide visitors to their required service. However, it is the intention of the Director of City Development, perhaps in consultation with Duncan of Jordanstone Art College, to review the decor within the reception area and the external loggia. The effectiveness of the existing signage will also form part of this review. The provision of quality coffee/food stalls located in the northern part of the loggia is also to be investigated.
I can further advise that a window cleaning contract is currently being procured and will be in place shortly.
In respect of the tenement block beside Dundee House, I can advise that the building is Category B listed and its future use is currently being reviewed.”
Improving the appearance of the entrance area to make it as welcoming for the Dundee public as possible is important and I am pleased that some thought it being given to this as is a review of the effectiveness of signage. I have asked to be updated on what is proposed for the disused buildings beside Dundee House as proposals come forward.