Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries named Scotland’s best building



The Carnegie Library and Galleries in Dunfermline
The Carnegie Library and Galleries in Dunfermline

The Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries scooped the UK’s richest architecture prize last night as it was awarded the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award for 2017.

Designed by Richard Murphy Architects and built by BAM Construction, the project was selected by judges as “a clear winner” from a shortlist of twelve winners of RIAS Awards for 2017, which were presented in June.

The winner of this year’s RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award receives a gold medal cast by internationally renowned Scottish goldsmith James Brent Ward and a cheque for £25,000. This makes it the richest architectural prize in the UK and one of the most significant architecture awards in Europe. The award is generously supported by the late Andrew Doolan’s family and by the Scottish Government.

The judges for this year’s award were RIAS President, Stewart Henderson PRIAS, Professor Sue Roaf FRIAS, recently retired Professor of Architectural Engineering at Heriot-Watt University and Susie Stirling, head of placemaking & housing in the Scottish Government’s Planning & Architecture Department.

DunfermlineCarnegieLibrary&Galleries1The full judges’ citation for the winning project reads: “In 2007 Richard Murphy Architects won a competition for a major new cultural hub in Dunfermline’s historic centre. The new building is organised along a top-lit internal street, criss-crossed by bridges. To provide access an adjacent car park was redesigned as a walled garden leading to an entrance courtyard. External materials are sandstone, oak and Corten steel, acknowledging the town’s industrial heritage and the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, after whom the building is named.

“Internally the new spaces connect with the existing library, reference rooms repurposed as events spaces. At the lower level the local history reading room is organised in three tiers.  The children’s library, opens directly onto the garden.  On the floor above the café’s terraces offers views over the Abbey.  Above is a double level, barrel vaulted museum and three flexible art galleries. The circulation ‘architectural promenade’ offers key views of significant historic buildings, culminating in a cube window framing views of the Abbey.”

Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries_Richard Murphy Architects_M LambieThe award was presented at a ceremony at the National Museum of Scotland (Doolan Award winner for 2011) by the cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs, Ms Fiona Hyslop MSP alongside Mrs Margaret Doolan Hon FRIAS (the late Andrew Doolan’s mother).

Fiona Hyslop said: “Last year the RIAS-led national Festival of Architecture focussed international attention on Scottish architecture and the quality of the shortlist for this year’s RIAS Andrew Doolan Award illustrates again the continuing excellence of new architecture in Scotland.

“I am always delighted to announce the winner of the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award and, in this Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, the quality of the winner and of all the shortlisted projects illustrate that we are building a future heritage in Scotland that we can truly be proud of.”

The shortlist for the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award comprised this year’s RIAS Awards winners, as follows:

  1. City of Glasgow College - City Campus    

Reiach and Hall Architects / Michael Laird Architects for City of Glasgow College

  1. Due West, Craobh Haven

cameronwebster architects for Gordon and Margaret Turner

  1. Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries

Richard Murphy Architects for Fife Council

  1. Eastwood Health and Care Centre, Glasgow       

Hoskins Architects for hub West Scotland on behalf of NHS Greater Glasgow &    Clyde with East Renfrewshire Council

  1. Edinburgh Road, Musselburgh

A449 LTD for Archie and Tricia MacDonald

  1. Fernaig Cottage, Stromeferry

Scampton and Barnett Architects for Andrew and Gillian Barnett

  1. Glendale Primary School, Glasgow          

Glasgow City Council - DRS Project Management & Design for Glasgow City Council

  1. James Gillespie’s Campus, Edinburgh     

jmarchitects for The City of Edinburgh Council

  1. Moray Place, Edinburgh     

Somner Macdonald Architects (for a private client)

  1. Newhouse of Auchengree, North Ayrshire          

Ann Nisbet Studio for Dr Michael Law and Sally Law

  1. Powis Place, Aberdeen       

Carson & Partners for Alumno Development

  1. Rockvilla - National Theatre of Scotland HQ, Glasgow

Hoskins Architects for National Theatre of Scotland



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