Moving west, however, things are not quite so rosy. I can find very little time for the new Alliance Trust Headquarters on the Marketgait. The site is an important one: in addition to the proposed expansion of the Overgate shopping centre and the developments at the West Port (more on this later) Marketgait is the obvious thoroughfare to connect the two, as well as open up the city centre to the north, which the first Overgate's construction in the 70s largely cut off, despite hosting some spectacular architecture. Overall, the building is not terrible by modern standards: it is faintly innovative, the neon lighting contrasts with the bold black exterior; however it entirely fails to take its environment into account. It attempts to dominate, rather than complement, the Bank of Scotland building to its left; it neglects the modern-but-traditional consensus of the rest of the street and by no means least it ignores the architectural heritage of the city it is placed within.
To the immediate north, the scaffolding is soon to come off of the new West Port building, an computer-generated image of which is displayed above. The building will be a mixture of residential and commercial, containing most notably a Grosvenor Casino. Whilst again not to my particular taste, it is relatively sensitive to the historic Tay Mill which it sits beside (to the right of the image), using similarly coloured stone, which ties more harmoniously in with the Marketgait. In design terms, it fits appropriately alongside some of the more recent university buildings to the west.
Again, this is a key area: the gateway joining the northern edge of the traditional city centre with the modern parts of the university and the emerging expansion of the West End, hopefully bringing positive spillover effects into the bars and restaurants of South Tay Street and the nightclubs of Ward Road and for the first time melding together the various nightlife and cultural areas of Dundee. I feel, however, the city must be careful not to rely too heavily on new buildings, when there are so many fine, historic and charming streets beginning for investment and regeneration.
Since I feel I have been terribly modernist in my assessments of the redevelopment, I will also take this opportunity to post an image of some traditional architecture in the city. All but destroyed in a fire in the early 2000s, Morgan Academy - a state comprehensive in the East End - was rebuilt according to its original designs, having a positive effect on the skyline and maintaining some of the former nobility of this sadly deprivated area. Just goes to show what can be accomplished in the present day.