Marischal Square, Aberdeen

Marischal Square is a multi-award-winning development, which delivers a vibrant new mixed-use quarter for Aberdeen. The development includes; two office buildings (providing 173,500 sq ft flexible Grade A office space) with secure underground parking, seven restaurants and café bars (occupying 28,000 sq ft ground floor space) and a 126 bed Residence Inn by Marriott providing long stay luxury for business and leisure travellers. In addition, it boasts substantial high-quality areas of public realm/civic space.

Following Muse Development’s selection by Aberdeen City Council as preferred bidder, David Officer was asked to support and lead Muse through the pre-contract phase, which included securing detailed planning consent for the scheme, negotiating the terms of the hotel management agreement with Marriott, leading the design development, and preparing + concluding the Building Contract with Morgan Sindall Construction. Thereafter, David provided contract administration services in line with the terms of the Building Contract and upline Funding + Development Agreements.


David Officer, Director at Graham + Sibbald undertook this project prior to joining the firm. This case study is an excellent example of the high-quality level of work and experience that David provides.

David led all pre-contract project management services, including; attendance at principals meetings, chairing project team meetings, attending ad hoc design meetings, attending planning consultation meetings, leading all procurement and contract negotiations with main contractor, ensuring contract documentation was prepared and executed prior to contract works commencing, risk and issue management throughout the term of engagement and full contract administration duties post contract, including preparation of monthly reports for client and funder.

Key Challenges

Funding and Development Agreements needed to be concluded by the end of 2014, which required Planning consent and a Building Contract to be in place.

Discharge of planning conditions, notably pre-commencement conditions, some of which required to be deferred, e.g. detailed scheme of materials and finishes, until subcontract supply chain had been finalised.

Detailed design development of the external landscaping and public realm works (including external lighting).

Co-ordination of Muse direct works with Main contract works, e.g. Andy Scott public artwork, in addition to co-ordination of works with adjacent Broad Street pedestrianisation contract works, called for close management and regular updates.

Co-ordination and instruction of additional works into the main contract to accommodate incoming tenant requirements.

Maintaining power to wider-area network and site via temporary substations until such time that the new development was substantially constructed to accept the new local and wider-area substations.

Due to its close proximity, David was additionally tasked with ensuring that Grade A Listed Provost Skene House was adequately protected from dust and vibration during the contract, particularly the initial stages of construction when piling operations were progressing.


Partial handovers of retail units and hotel prior to full completion allowing them to open for trading in October 2017. Full development completed in November 2017.

Key Message

Excellent communication, timely production of reports, proactive risk management and prompt response to any issues that arose are always of vital importance in ensuring successful project delivery.

Download PDF here

“David Officer was appointed by Muse Developments as pre-contract Project Manager and post-contract Administrator for Marischal Square, a £107M mixed-use Joint Venture development in Aberdeen city centre with Aviva Investors and Aberdeen City Council. As the Muse Regional Director responsible for Marischal Square, I was very satisfied with the professional services undertaken by David Officer and would have no hesitation in recommending David to any other prospective Client or other organisation wishing to undertake a project of this scale, value or complexity.” Stephen Turner, Regional Director - Scotland, Muse Developments